Treatments for Sleep Apnea
estimated that millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but far fewer
know very much about what it is or how it can be treated. Quite simply sleep
apnea is the disruption of normal breathing during sleep and can become a
very serious problem if gone untreated. Sleep apnea can be difficult to
diagnose since no one remembers how his or her breathing was the night before.
People suffering from sleep apnea also may choke or gasp during sleep to draw
in breath, experience loud snoring, awake suddenly to restart breathing,
sweat frequently through the night, experience headaches, sore throat, or dry
mouth in the morning, and even may experience daytime sleepiness.
Causes of sleep apnea vary. Large tonsils, obesity, relaxation of the tongue
and throat muscles, smoking, nasal congestion, and heredity are some of the
major causes. Sleep apnea can also develop from other physical ailments
such as weak immune system, severe heartburn, acid reflux or high blood
While not usually associated with sleep apnea, dentists can actually play a
large and successful role in the treatment of sleep apnea. Dentists,
working along with other health professionals can control the symptoms or
reverse sleep apnea. In fact dental treatments are some of the most common
and affordable ones. There are different dental appliances, lower jaw
adjustment devices, and oral devices that can help treat and fight mild to
moderate sleep apnea.
Many dental devices for treating sleep apnea are much like athletic mouth
guards or appliances used for orthodontics and are made of acrylic, fitting
inside the mouth that when fitted properly can reposition jaw bones and
facial muscles. Others actually fit around the head and chin to
reposition the jaw, much like headgear for braces. Two of most common
dental treatments for sleep apnea include the Tongue Retaining Device and the
Mandibular Repositioning. These two devices help open your airway while
you sleep. It moves your lower jaw or tongue forward. Often, the lower
jaw and tongue move too far back thus blocking the flow of air during sleep.
Dental treatments and devices for sleep apnea can make a huge difference in
treating mild to moderate cases. Call our office and ask us how we can best
help you treat your sleep apnea for a more rested night’s sleep.