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How Do Dentists Help Treat Sleep Apnea?

Many would be surprised to learn that sleep apnea has something to do with dental health. If you’re suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and are looking for treatment options, consider Clifford C. Compton III DDS, PA and how our expertise in dentistry in Concord, NC can be of assistance. To give you a better understanding of how dentistry and sleep apnea treatment are related, we’re here to answer your biggest question:

What role does your dentist play in the management of sleep apnea?

What Is Sleep Apnea?

When understanding the role of a family dentistry practitioner with regards to sleep apnea, we must first learn what this disorder is. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) refers to the disorder that causes the muscles in your throat that hold up your tongue and soft palate to relax for a few seconds. When these muscles relax, they close off or narrow your airway, making it difficult to breathe for the time being. These breathing interruptions greatly affect the quality of your sleep.

Symptoms and Treatment

One of the tell-tale signs of having sleep apnea is snoring, and can be remedied by wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This device delivers purified air into your lungs while you sleep via a mask worn around your nose and mouth so that your lungs and airways receive plenty of oxygen, resulting in a more restful sleep.

The diagnosis itself won’t come from your emergency dentistry practitioner, but we can help with treatment options moving forward if it turns out that a CPAP machine is not a suitable option for you. After a physical exam, diagnosis, and sleep test by the proper medical experts, we can help figure out if an oral device might be a good way to treat the problem.

Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance

The SomnoDent mandibular advancement splints (MAS) is an alternative to the CPAP machine, which works by pushing air into the airways, whereas the MAS aligns the jaw in such a way that opens the airway, making breathing while asleep easier.

A similar splint therapy is also utilized for those looking for suitable TMD / TMJ treatments.

OSA often results in bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, so you’d need to be treated right away especially if you’ve got dental implants, since these can be damaged by the teeth grinding.

If you’re looking for ways to relieve sleep apnea symptoms, you can turn to our dental clinic for help. Contact us today so we could set up a consultation.