How Can a Dentist Help with Sleep Apnea?

Posted by Dr. Soto Feb 15, 2019

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Many Americans snore and keep their partners awake at night. Of those many Americans who snore, a large percentage also suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is the cause of numerous health problems from fatigue to major heart conditions.

Not many people would associate a dentist with sleep apnea treatment, but that is changing. Dentists can offer people who suffer from sleep apnea a second chance at getting a good night’s sleep thanks to oral appliance therapy.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder caused by obstructed air passageways when sleeping that leads to reduced airflow to the lungs. The resulting decreased oxygen levels to the body’s vital organs can cause not just daytime fatigue but serious health disorders.

Sleep apnea occurs when breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Each pause in breathing lasts from a few seconds to minutes and can happen up to 30 times an hour. Imagine how awful that sleep would be? Sadly, it is a fact of life for millions and millions of Americans.

One telltale sign a person has sleep apnea is teeth grinding and the resulting tooth wear, breakage, plus inflamed and receding gums. This means your dentist may be among the first of your health care providers to notice the effects of sleep apnea – and your need for treatment.

Typical Treatment

For years, the primary method of treating sleep apnea has been with the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. It looks like a gas mask, including the hose attachment, and it pumps a constant flow of oxygenated air down the windpipe.

Many people who use a CPAP complain about how uncomfortable it is to sleep in. In fact, many users have simply forsaken their devices, regardless of their sleep apnea. But now there is a much more convenient solution – and it comes from your dentist.

Dental Appliance Therapy

If you simply cannot deal with the CPAP device for whatever reason, this alternative treatment for sleep apnea is a godsend. Dental appliance therapy is far more comfortable and far less obtrusive.

Dental appliances are worn in the mouth during sleep, and they hold the lower jaw forward. This can help prevent throat muscles and the tongue from relaxing backward and constricting the throat’s airway. Each dental appliance is custom-fitted to an individual’s mouth.

These dental appliances are rapidly causing CPAP owners to rethink their choices, or to toss those uncomfortable masks away once and for all.

What to Do?

If you suffer from sleep apnea and absolutely loathe your CPAP device, you can now ask your dentist for a custom-fitted dental appliance. Discover the vast improvement a small dental appliance can make in your war against sleep apnea. If your dentist doesn’t offer this service, maybe it is time that you switched providers and became a patient of Dr. Ernie Soto.

Don’t let another night go by suffering from sleep apnea or having to deal with the Darth Vader-like CPAP. Call Dr. Soto at (954) 368-6264 or request an appointment online.

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