Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that plagues many people. Sleep apnea causes people to temporarily stop breathing during REM sleep. Luckily, certain types of sleep apnea can be treated by dentists. Here’s what you need to know about sleep apnea and treatment options available at the dentist!
Two Types of Sleep Apnea
The two types of sleep apnea are central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send proper signals to the lungs to breathe during sleep. Central sleep apnea is not treatable by dentists. Obstructive sleep apnea is a form of sleep apnea that happens when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse and block the airway.
Common Signs of Sleep Apnea
There are signs and symptoms you and loved ones can look out for to see if you may have sleep apnea. If you have any of the symptoms below, we recommend reaching out to a sleep specialist to get a sleep apnea consultation and diagnosis. Some of the signs are:
- Chronic migraines and headaches
- Clenching teeth
- Difficulty focusing during the day
- Feeling groggy after a full night’s sleep
- Frequent loud snoring
- Waking up gasping for air in the middle of the night
Sleep Apnea Dental Treatments
Obstructive sleep apnea can be treated by trained dentists. If you have sleep apnea and are struggling with the CPAP machine, you may be a great candidate for dental intervention. Dentists treat obstructive sleep apnea by using oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy is an upper and lower retainer specifically designed to reposition the jaw while you sleep. Oral appliance therapy keeps the jaw relaxed and prevents the soft tissues from collapsing and blocking the throat while you sleep.
Do you have obstructive sleep apnea and are curious about oral appliance therapy? At Hermitage Dental Group, we proudly offer sleep apnea treatment to help patients get the good night’s sleep they deserve. Please contact us to schedule your sleep apnea consultation!