Sleep Apnea - How Your Dentist Can Help - Vita Dental Spring
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Sleep Apnea – How Your Dentist Can Help

Sleep Apnea – How Your Dentist Can Help 150 150 Tony

Sleep Apnea – How Your Dentist Can Help

You may know of sleep apnea, you may even know someone who has it. However, what you might not know is that your dentist can treat it. Since most people go to the dentist more often than to the family doctor, your dentist can play an important role. He will help to deal with all the dental symptoms of sleep apnea. Here is how a dental practice such as Vita Dental Spring can help you deal with sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that leads to shallow breaths or temporary pauses in breathing during sleep. The pauses will usually last for a few seconds or for minutes. This can recur over 30 times an hour. After the pause, normal breathing will resume but with a loud choking sound. There are two types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. It happens when the throat muscles over relax, which causes the collapse of your airway. This blocks airflow to the lungs and prevents breathing.

  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not send signals to muscles that control breathing.

Why is OSA Dangerous?

When your breathing is cut off, the body reacts by raising the heart rate to help with the flow of oxygen. With time, this could lead to other effects on the body and cause poor breathing and high carbon dioxide levels in your body. When this happens, you are at high risk of stroke, blood pressure, and heart disease.

How the Dentist Will Help with Sleep Apnea Treatment

Dentist at Vita Dental Spring will play an important role in dealing with sleep apnea. After they suspect you have sleep apnea, the dentist will go for a sleep study. During a sleep study, you will have to go to a hospital or sleep center. This is because, although the dentist can identify the signs of sleep apnea, he or she does not have the facilities and equipment needed for a sleep study.

Once your diagnosis is confirmed, the Vita Dental Spring dentist will give you an appointment to go learn about your treatment options. The most common recommendation is to use an oral appliance. These devices can help to ease symptoms of normal weight people who have moderate or mild sleep apnea.

These dental sleep devices are quite easy to use. They will usually look like mouth guards. They usually help to push the lower jaw forward. When this happens, the muscles that collapse during sleep apnea are forced to tighten, which means they cannot block the airway.

With time, the collapsing and tightening of the throat muscles will cause them to become stronger. This way, sleep apnea is reduced or eliminated. Some of these devices are adjustable. This makes it possible to adjust where the jaw sit when they are placed in the mouth.

The dentist will assess the mouth, teeth, and temporal mandibular joints to confirm whether you qualify for dental devices. If you do, the dentist will take a model of your teeth. The models are sent to a specialist, who can design an appliance that will be fitted in your mouth. This fit is important since any incorrectly fitted mouth devices can lead to jaw damage. Patients that wear these devices during sleep will alleviate the sleep apnea with time.

Other types of devices used are tongue-retaining devices. However, they are useful for many types of mouths. These appliances will hold the tongue, preventing it from dropping to the back of the mouth. Since the tongue is attached to the lower jaw, the device will keep the airway open.

The dentists will usually work with the patient to ensure that the oral appliance is working and helping to improve the symptoms. While this device could be uncomfortable sometimes, most users should have it adjusted within days. Monitoring and continued consultation with the Vita Dental Spring dentist will ensure that they get the best results.

Benefits of Dental Devices in Treating Sleep Apnea

Dental devices are a great way to reduce sleep apnea. These devices are not expensive and while adjustable models are more costly, they are still more affordable compared to a continuous positive airway pressure machines.

These dental devices usually have fewer side effects. Since they are custom-made for the patients, they will fit well with great comfort during the night. Some people will struggle to become used to them. However, this distress is comparable to using CPAP machines, which are quite costly. Besides that, using a dental device eliminates the need for surgery and its related risks.

Various studies have proven that dental devices work. It is especially so when patients follow up with their dentist as they are recommended. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and do not think surgery is right for you, consider talking to your dentist. He could just help to cure your problems with sleep.