Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep and blocks an individual’s airway for brief intervals. While this condition is not life-threatening when it presents, it can lead to long-term health issues that could cause serious harm.
Your general practitioner can treat sleep apnea. But your dental professional might be able to help you address this condition too. Dr. Heather Adams, a dentist practicing in Rogers, AR, describes treatment available at your dentist’s office that can alleviate sleep apnea symptoms.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
Because sleep apnea symptoms happen while an individual is asleep, it may be difficult to know if you have this condition. The partners of these patients may report loud snoring or a brief cessation of breathing during the night.
Patients may recognize gasping awake or grogginess during the daytime in themselves if they have sleep apnea. If you are worried that you have this condition, you can talk to your doctor or dental professional and they can perform several types of non-invasive diagnostic tests.
How Can My Dentist Help My Sleep Apnea?
If you have sleep apnea, your general practitioner may recommend the use of a C-PAP machine, a mechanism featuring a mask worn over the nose or mouth that forces air through a patient’s airways. Not everyone finds this treatment tolerable, so patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea can also ask their dentist for a solution.
A dentist can create a custom-made mouthguard for patients to wear overnight. This can position your jaw as you sleep to keep your airway open and prevent periods of breathing cessation.
In some cases, your dentist may suggest orthodontic treatment to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. Realigning your bite can help many people breathe easier and without obstruction as they sleep.
Are There Risks Associated with This Treatment?
Dental treatments for sleep apnea do not have health risks. Many medical professionals worry about medical concerns associated with sleep apnea that may continue if they do not comply with treatments like a C-PAP machine due to discomfort.
While sleep apnea does not usually cause acute health problems, long-term issues may develop, including cardiovascular problems and cognitive decline. This is because breathing cessation puts pressure on the heart due to the interruption of oxygen, and continued lack of sleep can interfere with brain functions.
Dentists tailor sleep apnea treatment for a secure and comfortable fit so that patients will be more inclined to use them as directed and stop sleep apnea symptoms. The mouthguard oral appliances are designed to be easy to wear and will not slip out of place as you sleep.
Treat Sleep Apnea with Your Rogers, AR Dentist
Dr. Adams treats sleep apnea and many other dental concerns in patients of all ages in Rogers, AR. Our practice specializes in implant, restorative, cosmetic, general, and cosmetic dentistry, including professional teeth whitening services. To schedule a consultation with us, contact our staff online or reach us by phone at 479.323.3011.