Man with obstructive sleep apnea snores while sleeping and needs a custom oral appliance

How the Dentist Can Treat Sleep Apnea Issues

November 26, 2021 9:42 pm

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which patients frequently stop breathing for periods of time throughout the night. This happens because the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much, block the airway, and prevent air from getting to the lungs. Patients usually wake up just enough to begin breathing again, but not so much that they remember waking up. These episodes lead to a poor quality of sleep, and over time, can reduce a patient’s quality of life. In severe cases, sleep apnea can actually be fatal.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Since sleep apnea episodes occur while you’re asleep, how can you know if you have sleep apnea? These are a few common warning signs:

  • You feel perpetually exhausted and irritable or experience brain fog no matter how much sleep you get
  • A partner, spouse, or roommate notices that you snore loudly especially if your snoring is followed by long periods of silence
  • You regularly wake up abruptly, with a dry or sore throat, and/or gasping for air
  • You experience daily headaches and/or mood swings

If any of these signs ring true for you, we recommend scheduling a sleep study to receive an official diagnosis.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Once a patient receives a sleep apnea diagnosis, they have a few treatment options available to them. CPAP machines are a popular choice, and they involve wearing a mask over the nose and/or mouth that releases a continuous stream of air throughout the night, ensuring that the patient receives oxygen no matter what. In other cases, patients receive surgery to open their airways wider and prevent the throat from being blocked at night.

Another option is a custom oral appliance from Southwest Dental Care. This appliance fits comfortably over the teeth and moves the jaw forward slightly to keep the airway open during sleep. Oral appliances for sleep apnea do not require distilled water or electricity like CPAP machines, and they are much smaller and easier to travel with. They are also far less invasive than surgical treatment options.Foot Massage By simply wearing a custom nightguard for sleep apnea every night, you can wake up feeling much more refreshed and feel better throughout the day.

Looking for a sleep apnea dentist in Jefferson City? Our team is here to help. Contact Southwest Dental Care today!

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