How Can my Dentist Help With Sleep Apnea?

Is your partner keeping you awake at night with snoring?  Snoring can be a major indicator of sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea affects millions of people and its side effects can be  detrimental to your health.  Sleep apnea  occurs when your breathing is paused during  sleep.  During an episode of obstructive  sleep apnea, breathing becomes very shallow  or stops for 10 to 20 seconds. This may happen hundreds of times throughout sleep, decreasing oxygen levels and causing blood pressure to shoot up. Sleep apnea is linked to cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke), diabetes, obesity and depression.  A visit to your doctor may be in order if you experience any of the following symptoms:
  • Extreme daytime sleepiness
  • Frequent or chronic morning headaches
  • Morning sore throat
  • Restless sleep that's not stress-related
  • Nighttime gasping or choking
  • Nighttime chest pain
  • Snoring that's so loud it frequently wakes your partner and sometimes even wakes you

I’ve been diagnosed, how can you help?

After being diagnosed with sleep apnea by a physician, patients are presented with a variety of treatment options including surgery, CPAP treatment, and oral devices.  Yes—your sleep apnea can be treated with a non-surgical oral appliance.  Your dentist will work with you to select a dental mouth piece that fits over your teeth comfortably.  This device will advance the position of your jaw, palate, and tongue allowing your air passage to stay open and unobstructed.  The oral appliance is custom made for you, fits like a sports mouth guard, and is worn at night.

What are the benefits of an oral appliance?

There are many benefits to treating sleep apnea with an oral device.  Although sleep apnea can be treated with a CPAP machine, many users find that they are unable to tolerate the machine at night.  According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, many patients find that a sleep apnea oral appliance is more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask.  Additionally, oral appliances are quiet, easy to care for, and portable.

Ready for a better night’s sleep? 

Dr. Brad Dixon is specially trained and certified in dental sleep medicine.  Call today to schedule your appointment to discuss options for your sleep apnea today!