Can Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea treatment in Riverhead New YorkMillions of people suffer from the effects of snoring. Snoring is more than just a nuisance, it’s often a sign that you may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Studies have suggested that sleep apnea has been linked to health-related problems such as stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain, depression, and high blood pressure. The most commonly prescribed treatment for OSA is CPAP therapy, but Nesconset Dental Associates, a dental practice in Nesconset, NY, can help with an alternative treatment. Sleep apnea can now be treated by use an oral appliance to wear while you’re sleeping and your dentist can prescribe it.

Q: What causes sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is most commonly diagnosed in those considered obese or carrying excess weight. Sleeping in certain positions can obstruct the airway as the sleeper’s muscles relax during the night, restricting airflow to the rest of the body. The sleeper will often awake multiple times, gasping for air and often wakes up feeling tired, falls asleep throughout the day, and has issues with memory and concentration.

Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. How does the oral appliance work?

While CPAP therapy is the most commonly prescribed sleep apnea treatment, an oral appliance can offer a similar result. Both provide different ways of keeping the airway open during sleep, when the soft tissue in the mouth are more relaxed.

With CPAP therapy a constant airflow keeps the airway open during sleep. By contrast, the oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to keep the airway open by repositioning the bottom jaw, moving it forward to keep the soft tissue from collapsing over the airway. The appliance is sturdy enough to withstand bruxism — teeth grinding — so even nighttime teeth-grinders can benefit from the device.

Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?

Your Nesconset Dental Associates dentist will meet with you for an individual consultation where they will examine your mouth and make sure you’re fitted correctly and comfortably. The device is designed to fit comfortably inside the mouth with as little disruption to sleep as possible even while it is repositioning your jaw. Most patients report a reduction in snoring when using the oral appliance, leading to better sleep and happier mornings!

Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get it?

What makes an oral device comfortable and effective is how it is molded to the individual patient’s mouth. Your Nesconset Dental Associates dentist will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure the device is as comfortable for you as possible. The last thing we want is for you to stop snoring but wake up with a sore mouth!

The caring staff at Nesconset Dental Associates in Nesconset, NY wants to help you sleep better. Call (631) 228-8780 or schedule an appointment online today.