Can a Dentist Help with Sleep Apnea?

July 1, 2016

The quality of your sleep has a domino effect to impact all other areas of your life. If you lack energy and vitality throughout the day, then it is possible that you might be suffering from low-quality sleep. An experienced dental professional can talk with you about the possibilities of sleep apnea treatments that can be used to help you get a good night’s sleep.

How Common is Sleep Apnea?

Surprisingly, sleep apnea is one of the most common reasons that people have a hard time sleeping at night. It is estimated that there are 25 million people in the United States suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. If you are one of those people with obstructive sleep apnea, then it means that you might have blocked breathing passages while you are sleeping.

The severity of sleep apnea varies depending on the patient. Some people have a mild form of sleep apnea, and they might not realize that the condition is impacting their sleep. In other situations, a person might stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. These sleep disturbances can happen hundreds of times within a single night, and the episodes might last between several seconds up to a minute or more.

When to Talk with a Dentist about Sleep Apnea

When a person is suffering from sleep apnea, the muscles in the airway relax during sleep. As a result, the soft tissue collapses and causes the airway to become blocked. Then, the body will wake up to open the airway again, and this process is repeated over and over again throughout the night. Limited breathing during the night results in lower oxygen levels, and there are many other negative health benefits associated with sleep apnea.

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, then you should talk to a dentist right away about treatment options. Common symptoms include choking, gasping, or snoring sounds when you are asleep. You might ask your spouse or a friend to pay attention to your sleeping habits during the night. Also, there are sleep studies that can be done to get an official diagnosis.

How can a Dentist Help?

Dental appliances can be used while you are sleeping to open the airways. There are devices in the shape of a mouth guard that keep the airways in the ideal position, and this mouth guard is formed to match your mouth in the perfect way. When you are ready to sleep better at night, call us to schedule a consultation to learn more about the benefits of sleep apnea treatment.

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