6317 Odana Rd Madison, WI 53719
Madison Family with Healthy Teeth

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Madison

Total Care Dental provides comprehensive dental health care services including diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.

Is Sleep Apnea Related to Dental Health?

Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition in which an individual repeatedly stops breathing while he or she sleeps. Apnea literally means “without breath”. This condition can occur at any age, though there is a higher risk for patients over 40 years old. Surprisingly, sleep apnea is sometimes linked to dental problems. Total Care Dental provides the most comprehensive dental health care services in Madison, including diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.

The Cause of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea has a number of causes, depending on the type: central (CSA), obstructive (OSA), and mixed. Central apnea is the result of unstable brain function where the brain fails to signal the respiratory system. Obstructive apnea is caused by some sort of blockage in the airways, such as soft tissue, inflamed tonsils, or mucus. Mixed is a combination of CSA and OSA. In obese patients, sleep apnea may be caused by the narrowing of the airway due to the excess amounts of tissue in the throat and neck.

Some patients diagnosed with bruxism may actually have sleep apnea. Bruxism is a tooth grinding condition which can wear away at your teeth while you sleep. If you have been diagnosed with bruxism in the past and have not seen improvement, check with our dentists to see if it’s possible the cause of your teeth grinding is sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Sleepless Man in Madison

A diagnostic sleep study by a board certified sleep physician is the main way of receiving a sleep apnea diagnosis. The study will include a series of tests to reach a diagnosis. For most patients, this means going to a sleep lab where they will be monitored throughout the night to confirm if and when they encounter breathing difficulty.

Total Care Dental offers an alternative to being tested in a traditional sleep lab. Our home sleep study will measure your sleep latency and effectiveness, oxygen levels, breathing, snoring, REM sleep, and heart rate in the comfort of your own bed! Using various forms of noninvasive equipment we will be able to relay all of your necessary sleep data to a certified medical professional for them to accurately evaluate your condition. Contact Total Care Dental for more information and to get started on an at-home sleep study program.

Questions to Ask if You Think You May Have Sleep Apnea:

  • Do you snore?
  • Do you fall asleep at unusual times or need naps?
  • Are you excessively tired during the day?
  • Do you have morning headaches?
  • Do you experience frequent sore throat or dry mouth?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Has anyone ever said you stop breathing in your sleep?

Answering yes to more than one of these questions is a sign you should see our Madison dentists to test for sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options with Total Care Dental

Mild sleep apnea may be treated with minor behavioral adjustments, such as sleeping on your side or losing weight. Diet, exercise, and weight loss can all reduce the amount of constriction on the airways, and this will cause your sleep apnea to reduce drastically in severity if not disappear completely. Oral appliances or CPAP can help many sufferers seek relief from symptoms of snoring and paused breathing. More severe sleep apnea may require surgery by an ENT or oral surgeon.

At Total Care Dental Madison, we start with a sleep study and consult with a medical doctor on your results to make a diagnosis. We then develop treatment plan options for you depending on the severity of your sleep disorder. A common solution is a  small oral appliance worn in the mouth during sleep to keep the tongue and soft tissue from collapsing and interrupting normal breathing patterns. An appointment with TCD dentists will determine if there are oral appliances to help you sleep safely through the night.

Man Finally Sleeping

Snoring: A Symptom of Sleep Apnea?

Snoring occurs when your throat muscles relax to the point where the airway is narrowed and partially obstructed. As the air passes through the obstruction, the structures in the throat vibrate and produce snoring. This is a strong indication of sleep apnea, but not the sole means of diagnosis.

The Facts About Snoring

  • 67% of people who snore have a sleeping disorder
  • Snorers are 3 times as likely to have a motor vehicle accident
  • Snorers are 6 times more likely to have blockage of a carotid artery
  • If you snore, your bed-partner may be getting 15% less sleep per night
  • Snoring is the #1 symptom of sleep disorders
  • 85 million people snore, 35 million people have insomnia

Many people confuse simple snoring for a more serious condition like sleep apnea. Snoring is merely a sign a person may have sleep apnea, it does not necessarily mean they have the condition itself. Sleep apnea should be diagnosed by trained medical professionals.

The Risks of Sleep Apnea

Man with CPAP MaskIt is important to note severe sleep apnea is extremely hazardous to your health and may require surgery to correct. For most cases, we will work with you in order to set up a safe, effective, and convenient solution that will leave you able to sleep comfortably through the night with no disturbances. Common types of treatment include using continuous airway pressure (CPAP) machines to regulate breathing while asleep. Other options may include specialty night mouth guards or retainers.

Sleep apnea has been linked to:

  • Headaches
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure

In addition, mental clarity and overall health can be impacted as well due to a lack of sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea suffers are much more likely to face sudden cardiac arrest resulting in death. These are all important reasons why it is essential that a TCD Madison specialist at least be seen for a quick, in-office evaluation. 

Contact our Madison Dental Clinic for complete oral health care at 608-274-1911 or Request a Dental Appointment online!

No Insurance? We've Got You Covered.

Total Care Dental offers multi-level payment options for a variety of dental care services at our Madison, WI location. Enjoy routine checkups, cleanings, x-rays, periodontal preventative care and more without the hassle of dealing with insurance companies that don't value your time or health needs.

Benefits include:

  • Low-cost monthly payments
  • 10% off additional treatments
  • Immediate Benefits
  • Un-enroll any time
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Meet the TCD Madison Dentists

Our team of compassionate and knowledgeable professionals create a warm, inviting atmosphere, ensuring patients of all ages feel welcome. At TCD, we treat every patient like a member of our family.

Dr. Brett Clark

Dr. Brett Clark

Dentist & Owner

Little League Coach, Barefoot Water Skier, Exercise Junkie, Super-Dad!

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Dr. Jason Vandehaar

Dr. Jason Vandehaar

Dentist & Owner

Eagle Scout, Badger Fan, Dog Lover, Lifeguard, Hater of Shredded Coconut!

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Dr. Tammy Kalsow

Dr. Tammy Kalsow


Positive, loving, nurturing spirit. 

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Dental Hygienist

Positive Spirit, Team Leader, Hockey Mom; "A family that flosses together stays together!"

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Dr. Tammy Kalsow
Meet the Rest of the Team

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Life Changing Implants

Share a Smile program partnership with the Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM)

Providing Free Dentistry to Patients in Need

The Share a Smile program allows the staff of TCD to give back to our local community. One day a  month, we provide free dentistry services to our neighbors in need. We work in partnership with the Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) and are looking to join with more churches, low-income housing facilities, and food pantries to expand our reach.

Check out our website to learn more about the Share a Smile program.  Even if you do not meet the eligibility requirements for free dentistry, our dental financing plans make preventative, cosmetic, and restorative services easily affordable for our Madison patients.


Contact our Madison Dental Clinic for complete oral health care at 608-274-1911 or Request a Dental Appointment online!