Sleep apnea and how dentists can help

Sleep apnea and how dentists can help

Dentists are usually associated with the treatment of dental and oral problems, but in reality they can help with a lot more issues in addition to tooth and oral ailments. One such problem where dentists can help is the treatment of sleep apnea. But first, let us know what sleep apnea is.

Sleep apnea is a form of breathing disorder which occurs, as the name implies, during sleep. Usually, when one sleep, the airways remain open which allow unfettered access of air to the lungs during breathing. But during sleep apnea, these airways get blocked by narrowing and thereby disrupting the normal flow or air. This in turn causes less air to reach the lungs, which in turns leads to lower blood oxygen levels, which causes improper sleep and even the feeling of being lethargic and devoid of energy in the morning.

Symptoms of sleep apnea are only observed when one is asleep. The most prevalent and the most common symptom of sleep apnea includes heavy and deep snoring which is then followed by heavy gasping as the body struggles for more air. The ubiquity of these symptoms makes sleep apnea harder to detect, with majority of the cases being un – diagnosed at all as people take them to be symptoms of other problems and consider it to be due to the lack of sleep or depression or hypertension.

Coming to the treatment of sleep apnea, dentists can help in a big way to help one combat sleep apnea. The most common device recommended for relief against sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, also known as the Continuous Positive Air Pressure Machine. While they do help, the machines are noisy and bulky in nature and in general uncomfortable to wear during sleep, which may put off patients and make them unwilling to use these devices, further exacerbating the problem.

A dentist can also recommend an oral sleep appliance in the fight against sleep apnea. This oral sleep appliance can help one avoid blockage during sleep. The device is part of the dental sleep medicine therapy, which focuses on using ways and means to ensure a sound sleep by removing all bottlenecks and other problems which crop up during sleep. The oral appliance has a mouth guard device, which, while similar to the one used in CPAP machines, provides a degree of comfort which is unparalleled when compared to those machines. This makes them more suitable for sleep apnea patients and increases the probability of them using these devices for a longer period of time to ensure proper treatment. These treatment method are covered by medical insurance plans, so there remains no excuse for avoiding it to prevent healthy and happy sleep.

Sleep apnea can be beaten with proper dental supervision and guidance, and the team at Carolina’s Dental Sleep Center are willing to go the extra mile to ensure the best dental and oral treatment for their patients with their professional and efficient staff.