What Can a Dentist Do For Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea sufferersSleep apnea is a common medical condition in which breathing is interrupted for extended periods of time during sleep. People who are overweight or obese are typically considered to be at a higher risk of suffering from sleep apnea than those who are a healthy weight, and the condition can also be made worse by alcohol consumption.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause much more serious long-term health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and even strokes. If you snore heavily when you are asleep, and wake up feeling like you have not slept at all, then you may have sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor to find out what the best course of action is.

One little known fact about sleep apnea is that you do not have to use a CPAP machine to manage the condition. Your dentist may be able to help you manage your sleep apnea with a much more convenient (and portable) dental device. A custom made mandibular repositioning device or a tongue retaining device can be used to keep your airway open, either by lowering your jaw or keeping your tongue in the right position in your mouth. If you have moderate or mild sleep apea then it is worth considering this course of treatment because it is more convenient, discrete and comfortable than a CPAP and less invasive than surgery.

The dentists at Island Dental Associates will take a cast of your jaw and use this to make a custom fit dental device. This device should be very comfortable in your mouth. You may need to re-visit your dentist periodically in order to have them re-measure and re-make your dental device to ensure that it remains a perfect fit. Wear your dental device every night to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep and that your breathing is not interrupted.

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