What is Sleep Apnea?
A common sleeping disorder, sleep apnea occurs when breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. The most common reason this happens is that when a body is relaxed, the soft tissues of the mouth and throat also relax, blocking the airways. A patient may start snoring heavily, stop snoring, and abruptly return to consciousness as their body recognizes they aren’t breathing properly.
Sleep Apnea negatively affects your deep sleep cycle because it blocks oxygen flow to the brain and prevents your body from recharging itself at night. Side effects include day-time drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and irritability.
There are two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dentists can help treat OSA.
Dental Treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The first step in diagnosing sleep apnea is giving our patients an at-home sleeping test that records their sleeping patterns in the comfort of their own home. Medical doctors then analyze the test results and give their recommendations for treatment.
The most common sleep apnea treatment is CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure. Continuous airflow is administered to a patient through a mask worn around the mouth. This is not a dental treatment.
There are dental CPAP alternatives that can work just as effectively. Known as oral appliance therapy, the treatment is a night guard molded specifically to the patient’s mouth and worn only at night. This sleep apnea mouthpiece is designed to prop the jaw open and allow more airflow in and out of the mouth as a patient sleeps.
We will take an impression of your teeth and that impression will be sent to lab to create a custom oral appliance made specifically for you.
We want to help you get the sleep you need to enjoy your days. Make an appointment with us today to talk about oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea!