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Hello, I’m Dr. Robert H. Thornton, DMD and I’m a Bioesthetic Dentist in Tupelo, Mississippi specializing in Airway Health & Breathing Disorders Therapy. As a Dentist since 2000, I’ve witnessed firsthand the significant distress that a Sleep Disorder such as Sleep Apnea can create and impact patients’ daily lives. Often, patients come to me complaining of symptoms like insomnia, dry mouth, difficulty breathing, headaches, and pain and tell me how they are suffering emotionally and physically. They describe the way these issues are affecting their ability to work, concentrate, sleep, and function throughout the day and, ultimately, live a normal life.

I’m here today to tell you that you don’t have to suffer and live this way any longer. There is a solution! My team and I have the skills, training, and knowledge necessary to treat complex Sleep Disorders and help you obtain lasting relief.

What Is Sleep Apnea and What Are the Symptoms?

Sleep Apnea is a complicated Sleep Disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. While every patient is different, the most common symptoms include:

• Loud snoring

• Episodes of breathing pauses during sleep observed by another person

• Excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue despite sufficient sleep time

• Difficulty concentrating and morning headaches

• Gasping or choking sensations that disrupt sleep

• Frequent nighttime urination

The pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 5 to 30 times or more per hour. This interrupts the normal sleep cycle, preventing you from reaching the deep, restorative stages of sleep. Sleep Apnea increases the risk of developing other medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Sleep Apnea can affect anyone, but is more common in men, people who are overweight, and those over age 40. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s possible that you may have Sleep Apnea.

Complex & Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

Sleep Apnea occurs in various forms. The most common type is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), where the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. Central Sleep Apnea is caused by a delay in signals from the brain to breathe. Complex Sleep Apnea is a combination of both Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

My Background & Experience in Treating Sleep Disorders:

As a Dentist in Tupelo with extensive training and education in Airway Dysfunction, I have treated many patients who suffer from debilitating Sleep Disorders. Over the course of my career, I have completed numerous ongoing education courses and studied at The Schuster Center Business School for Dentists, The Stewart Center for Minimally Invasive Dental Medicine (formerly The Texas Center for Occlusal Studies & Minimally Invasive Dentistry), and The OBI Foundation of Bioesthetic Dentistry – I am a Level 4 Graduate having completed all 4 levels of training at The OBI Foundation for Bioesthetic Dentistry. I also had the privilege of becoming an OBI Board of Director Officer, in October 2022, and enjoy serving with colleagues. These experiences have allowed me to become well-versed in the various methods for treating Sleep Disorders including Oral Appliance Therapy, minimally-invasive Biologic Dentistry, and effectively providing the VIVOS® System.

Natural Alternatives to CPAP Treatment:

It’s true that CPAP is one of the most common approaches used for treating Sleep Apnea. CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.” CPAP machines work by delivering a constant flow of air pressure through a mask worn over your nose and/or mouth while you sleep. This air pressure keeps your airway open so you can breathe normally. While effective, the problem with this method is that many patients simply cannot tolerate it. It’s too uncomfortable and, ultimately, no one wants to be hooked up to a machine.

That’s why, at my practice in Tupelo, MS, I use less-invasive methods like the VIVOS® System. VIVOS® oral appliance therapy is a comfortable, all-natural alternative to CPAP therapy that does not require patients to be hooked up to a machine. In my experience, it is the most humane method for treating Sleep Apnea and airway issues and the one that delivers the best results. In addition to this, I also treat patients using Night Guards and other holistic alternatives.

Sleep Apnea Therapy with the VIVOS® System:

The VIVOS® Method is a multidisciplinary protocol and holistic treatment that relies on advanced, minimally invasive oral technology. Patients undergo a Sleep Assessment called VivoScore as part of the diagnostic process. This information is used to create a custom treatment plan with the assistance of the VIVOS® Algorithm.

Diagnosis & Treatment Process:

Treatment with the VIVOS® Method usually lasts 12 to 24 months. During this time, the patient wears a custom-made VIVOS® oral appliance in the evening hours and overnight while they sleep. This process helps to reconfigure the patient’s upper jaw, lower jaw, and airway and address issues related to the dental arch, jaw placement, and tongue position.

Many patients who undergo treatment with the VIVOS® System are able to achieve significant relief within just a few months. They enjoy better sleep, a better quality of life, and, best of all, don’t have to resort to CPAP Therapy. Studies have found that with the VIVOS® System, over 80% of OSA patients experience a reduction in symptoms. Additionally, approximately 97% of all patients achieve their desired outcome upon the completion of treatment.

Sleep Disordered Breathing in Children:

Did you know that sleep apnea in children is actually quite common and has been linked to a number of conditions including ADD, reduced IQ, developmental issues, and can even stunt a child’s growth?

Our goal is to promote the proper growth and development of the jaw and airway to optimize airflow and promote proper nasal breathing while straightening your child’s teeth. As these areas develop many of the symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing disappear. When kids can breathe properly, they can begin to learn, grow, and blossom into their true genetic potential…just as nature intended.

A newly recognized and effective way to address and treat sleep apnea is Myofunctional Therapy – the type of therapy we offer at our dental office in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Comprehensive Care for Sleep Disorders in Tupelo, MS:

My team and I proud to offer a range of holistic, non-invasive treatment options that can restore your airway health and improve your sleep quality. Are you suffering from Sleep Apnea or another type of Sleep Disorder? If so, I encourage you to contact my office! My team and I can help you get the lasting relief and restful sleep you deserve. We offer comprehensive care for Sleep Apnea and other Sleep Disorders in Tupelo, MS. Call (662) 842-8514 today!