Why Do So Many Dentists Also Treat Sleep Apnea?

August 16, 2017 3:00 pm Published by
young african american woman sitting next to bed tired from sleep apnea

It might seem strange to you that your dentist would be concerned with your sleeping habits, but the amount of sleep you get may be strongly connected to your teeth.

First, What is Sleep Apnea?

One of the most common sleep disorders, sleep apnea impedes the way your body breathes while you’re asleep. This causes you to have a restless night’s sleep. Sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, causing the soft tissue to collapse and block your airway. Snoring is one of the most common side effects, but it’s actually a much more serious condition than just something that disrupts others.

During a sleep apnea episode, your brain senses a lack of oxygen when you aren’t breathing correctly. As a defense it wakes you up, often abruptly and multiple times per night. You might not even remember these periods of waking. By disrupting your sleep cycle, though, the constant waking during the night could leave you feeling groggy the next day. Besides fatigue, sleep apnea can also lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, type two diabetes, headaches, and heartburn.

Why Is My Dentist Concerned with My Sleeping Habits?

At Dental Solutions of Avon, we want to know about your sleeping habits. We have oral treatment that can help alleviate sleep apnea and snoring. By helping you keep your airways open while you sleep, you can get a good night’s rest without the worry of the health effects associated with sleep apnea.

What Are the Treatment Options?

There are two treatments that we use for those diagnosed with sleep apnea: oral appliances and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines.

Oral appliances are worn only during sleep and fit like a mouth guard you’d wear while playing sports. The appliance supports the jaw and allows you to maintain an open airway while you sleep so you breath normally. We typically use oral appliances when sleep apnea issues are more mild. We offer multiple mouth appliance options, including SomnoMed®, TAP®, and The Moses™. One single option might not work best for all patients, so we try to accomodate various needs.

If your sleep apnea is more advanced, you might need to use a CPAP machine. This is a device that delivers a stream of compressed air through a plastic tube connected to a nasal pillow, nose mask, or full-face mask. The air pressure keeps the airway open, making normal breathing possible.

If you think you have sleep apnea, it is vital that you get treatment as soon as possible. At Dental Solutions of Avon, we know how important sleep is for you. Our experts provide treatment and support for sleep apnea. We’re confident we can work with you to find a solution so you can finally have a good night’s sleep.

Contact us for more information today!

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