Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that can take a serious toll on health if it isn’t treated properly. Sleep apnea treatment is available at Roy Dental Care in Roy UT.
Dental sleep medicine is a relatively new branch of dentistry that treats sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing problems.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where you have frequent, intermittent pauses in breathing while sleeping. These pauses can last for up to 60 seconds. They are caused by soft tissue in the back of the throat that relaxes and cuts off the airway. When the brain is not getting enough oxygen it interferes with important physical processes.
There are three different forms of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is when the throat muscles relax.
- Central sleep apnea means brain doesn’t send proper signals to control breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the other two types.
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a medical doctor. If you have several of the following symptoms, we encourage you to seek a diagnosis.
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
- Sleep Deprivation
- Excessive Snoring
- Episodes of Not Breathing
- Mouth Breathing
- Dry Mouth/Throat
- Frequent Headaches
How does a sleep apnea dentist treat sleep apnea?
Dentists use oral appliance therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Patients wear a custom-fitted removable oral appliance at night. The appliance fits somewhat like a sports mouthguard.
How does an oral appliance work?
An oral appliance restricts your airway from collapsing. It either holds the tongue or jaw in a forward position.
Does an oral appliance work as well as a CPAP machine?
It depends on the severity of the condition and other factors specific to the patient. Many patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea benefit from OAT.
What are the advantages of OAT over CPAP?
Some people find the device more comfortable. It’s smaller and easier to clean than a CPAP system. Patients who suffer from claustrophobia often choose OAT. Patients who move around a lot when they sleep can get twisted up in the CPAP tube. And a small, portable device is easier to travel with.
If you have been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and are interested in OAT, call Roy Dental Care in Roy UT. Patients from Clinton, Layton, and Hooper have come to us for sleep apnea treatment, as well as our complete general dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!
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