Sleep apnea is a significant chronic condition in which a patient's breathing is disrupted while sleeping. Persistent sleep apnea causes patients to repeatedly stop breathing during their sleep, often dozens of times.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of three sleep apnea and occurs when the upper airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep. Central sleep apnea occurs when the lower airway becomes partially or completely blocked while sleeping.
Dentistry and Sleep Apnea
Tooth grinding or bruxism is a common and early indicator of sleep apnea. Dentists evaluate for eroded enamel surfaces, which indicate if a patient grinds his or her teeth. Dental sleep medicine is the name of the discipline. Dentists who have received special training in this area work with doctors and clinicians to develop the optimal treatment strategy for a patient's sleep issue. Oral appliance therapy is frequently used to assist patients in coping with both snoring and OSA problems.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
An often prevalent symptom of apnea is recurrent snoring. Daytime fatigue and drowsiness, getting out of bed with a dry mouth or sore throat, and morning migraines are other symptoms. Raise these concerns to your dentist's attention if you experience them.
One of the dental health signs of sleep apnea is bruxism. Signs include a tiny jaw, scalloped tongue, and erythema in the throat (produced by snoring, another indication of sleep problems).
People who are gasping for air wake up frequently, reducing the quality of their sleep and causing weariness. Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or obesity are all associated with sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea can be treated both with medicine and lifestyle changes. Your dentist can help you get started on the treatment for sleep apnea by doing an initial diagnosis to determine which type of sleep apnea you have and taking the necessary measures to treat it.
Oral Appliances: They are one of the most effective ways to treat obstructive sleep apnea. They help keep your airway open by holding your jaw forward during sleeping. The dentist makes customized oral devices from dental-grade plastic that resemble mouthguards and fit them over your teeth to open your airway while you sleep comfortably. Once you get used to wearing them regularly, you will notice improvements in your sleeping patterns and overall health, as well as a decrease in snoring. They are safe and highly effective if used with prescription medication or CPAP therapy if necessary.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): The device delivers a steady flow of oxygen through a mask into your mouth while you sleep. This helps keep your breathing passages open even if they start to narrow during an episode of airway blockage. The airflow helps keep you breathing even while restlessly asleep by preventing blockages in your airways due to obstruction by relaxing muscles or collapsing tissues at night.
What are Sleep Appliances?
The most common form of treatment for sleep apnea is using a sleep appliance. It is a device that helps keep the airway open during sleep. There are several types of sleep appliances available, such as:
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD): This device presses the lower jaw forward and keeps the airway open. MAD is one of the most effective devices used to treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Lateral Positioning Device: This mouthpiece-like oral appliance keeps the lower jaw in a forward position.
Snore-Reducing Devices: These appliances gently hold the tongue and make space for easier breathing.
Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (NCPAP): This device is used to help keep your airways open by blowing air into your nose through a mask.
ProSomnus: ProSomnus Therapy can help you get a good night's sleep without any interpretation from noisy machines, masks, or hoses. This cutting-edge device appliance is customized to fit you perfectly. Our dentist will instruct you on how to use, care and maintain it.
SomnoMed: SomnoMed uses high-quality acrylic to create the SomnoDent device, which is a type of oral appliance. You can comfortably talk and open/close your mouth and lips by wearing them.
OPTISLEEP: OPTISLEEP is a customized oral device very commonly recommended for patients with more severe OSA. This oral appliance can prevent apneas by keeping the upper airway open.
Advantages of Sleep Appliances
- Sleep appliances are simple and easy to use. They do not require any special training or instructions to use them properly and effectively. They can be worn by both men and women of any age group.
- MAD is highly effective in treating mild-moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It keeps the jaw from collapsing and obstructing the airway, thereby increasing the patient's ability to breathe freely during sleep.
- Snore-reducing devices keep your tongue from blocking your throat, thereby preventing you from snoring loudly. They also allow you to breathe easily while sleeping, which helps you stay asleep longer than before and wake up more refreshed than ever before.
- Nasal CPAP delivers positive pressure through your nose that keeps your airways open during sleep, allowing you to breathe properly simultaneously.
- Nasal CPAP also prevents headaches, dry mouth, and other symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea without any side effects on your overall health.
Lowery Smiles, located in Cary, NC, has expert dentists and the latest amenities for treatment. Call us at (919) 468-5501 and schedule an appointment.