Wondering how to treat your sleep apnea? This sleep disorder causes you to stop breathing during the night, which is caused by either your tongue or excess tissues blocking the back of your throat. Common signs associated with this condition include snoring, headaches, a dry throat, grinding or clenching teeth, mood swings, feeling tired and…
How a General Dentist Treats Sleep Apnea
An estimated 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, and well over half of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea have a moderate to severe case. A general dentist studies and understands why sleep apnea occurs and can effectively treat it with oral appliances and other treatment methods.
General dentistry and sleep apnea treatment
Many do not know whom to visit when sleep apnea leads to concerning symptoms. While visiting a sleep specialist may be necessary in some cases, a general dentist who offers sleep apnea treatment can also address your concern. The following is a review of sleep apnea and how a general dentist can treat it.
A review of sleep apnea from a general dentist
Sleep apnea is a common condition in which the airway in the back of the throat closes while sleeping. This causes the person to quit breathing temporarily. It is not a major health risk, but it does lead to the individual constantly waking up throughout the night and can lead to cardiovascular health problems if left untreated for too long. General dentists focus on all aspects of oral health, and many consider sleep apnea to be an important condition to treat, as it can affect oral health and general health.
Dental treatment options for sleep apnea
The two main types of treatment for sleep apnea are CPAP machines and mandibular advancement devices. Although CPAP machines are effective, general dentists are typically more likely to recommend a mandibular advancement device, a type of custom mouthguard that keeps the tongue and jaw in the proper position to keep the airway open while asleep. Other treatment options include surgery or medications. Medications are typically only effective for central sleep apnea, and surgery is often only used if less invasive methods of treatment do not work.
How the process works for sleep apnea treatment
The sleep apnea treatment process with a general dentist begins with a consultation. The dentist reviews the patient’s dental and medical history and documents their sleep apnea symptoms and discusses treatment goals. They can then discuss all available treatment options and decide on the best method, which is often a mandibular advancement device.
When to visit the general dentist for sleep apnea treatment
If symptoms of sleep apnea become problematic or you have received a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, then it is encouraged to seek treatment. Common symptoms include but are not limited to constantly waking up while asleep, having a lack of energy during the day, snoring and having morning headaches. Many patients report long-term relief from their sleep apnea symptoms after visiting a general dentist and starting a treatment plan.
Schedule your first visit with our dental practice
Are you considering sleep apnea treatment from a general dentist? If so, call or send our friendly dental team a message today to schedule a visit. During the visit, we can discuss your symptoms, goals for treatment and treatment preferences to determine the best way to manage your sleep apnea symptoms in the long term.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sleep Apnea in Portland, OR.
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 25 million Americans have some form of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a chronic disease that involves frequent pauses in a person's breathing during sleep. Most health warnings about this condition focus on how it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, but apnea…
The Alaska Sleep Clinic estimates that 20 million Americans live with obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes the cessation of breathing while one sleeps. The most obvious primary symptoms of OSA are snoring and gasping for air in the middle of the night, though the condition causes several secondary symptoms that can negatively affect…
A diagnosis of sleep apnea can be frightening or frustrating to patients, many of whom may need to make lifestyle changes in diet, exercise and environment to reverse the sleep disorder. In the face of such changes, many people may find it tempting to simply do nothing. However, left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to…