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H. Grant Ritchey Jr. D.D.S. | Sleep Apnea in Tonganoxie

H. Grant Ritchey Jr. D.D.S., F.A.G.D.


Family and Cosmetic Dentistry


Sleep Apnea

504 E. Fourth Street, Tonganoxie, Kansas



Sleep Apnea


Approximately 90 million Americans snore during sleep. While half of these people's snoring might be caused by allergies or having a cold, the other half may have a serious sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  Understanding the differences between sleep apnea and primary snoring is the first step to effective treatment of both conditions.  For all the people across the country who are getting nudged or elbowed throughout the night from frustrated bed partners, it’s important to know what their snoring means, and how they can silence it.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious, even life threatening, condition in which a person is unable to breathe during sleep due to blockage of the airway by the tongue or other structures of the throw.  The patient will struggle to breathe anywhere from a few seconds to over a minute, after which he or she will partially wake up and gasp for air.  This can cause a dangerous drop in the oxygen level in the blood stream, possibly contributing to high blood pressure and other serious issues.  OSA greatly increased the risks of heart attacks and strokes if not treated.

There are several ways to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  The "gold standard" and most successful when used properly is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP.  This is a device which forces air through the obstruction, allowing the patient to maintain normal blood oxygen levels.  Another treatment is a surgical approach, in which the structures that are causing the obstructions are removed or modified, helping to open the airway.   Another popular and successful treatment option is an Oral Appliance (OA).  This is a dental device that we make in our office, and resembles a football mouthguard which fits over your upper and lower teeth and holds your lower jaw forward, opening the airway.  See the diagram below.



<p>H. Grant Ritchey Jr. D.D.S.</p> in Tonganoxie KS


  • Do you snore loudly each night?
  • Do you have frequent pauses in breathing while you sleep (you stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer)?
  • Do you have headaches in the morning?
  • Are you very tired or sleepy during the day?
  • Do you fall asleep easily during the day?



When used properly and consistently, CPAPs work extremely well, and we recommend that our sleep apnea patients consider CPAP as a first line of treatment.  However, CPAP machines are uncomfortable and annoying to many patients.  Studies show that anywhere between 40-80% of people who are prescribed a CPAP do not wear it at all.  This obviously is not a good thing and can be hazardous to your health.

If you snore and want to find out if that is a sign of a more serious problem (or if it's not and you or your bed partner just want it to stop), or if you are CPAP intolerant, please call our office to discuss it.  Dr. Ritchey and Jaime our Sleep Coordinator can answer any question you have about snoring, Sleep Apnea, or your CPAP device.  If you are a candidate and are interested in an Oral Appliance, we can fabricate your appliance and work with your sleep physician to ensure that your Sleep Apnea is under control so that you can get a good night's sleep and reduce the risk of poor health due to sleep disorders. 

Call us today!

<p>H. Grant Ritchey Jr. D.D.S.</p> in Tonganoxie KS
Tonganoxie Dentist | Sleep Apnea. Grant Ritchey is a Tonganoxie Dentist.