Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep-related disorders, with an estimated 15 million Americans suffering on any given night. When a person has sleep apnea, their throat can close up during the night. In mild cases, this leads to snoring, or sleeping less deeply than normal due to difficulty breathing. In some cases, the airway closing can lead to them waking up unable to breathe.
Unfortunately, sleep apnea is more than a simple inconvenience. People suffering from sleep apnea are permanently sleep-deprived, and over time, that can cause major threats to both their physical and mental health. If they sleep beside other people, this may cause anyone nearby to lose sleep as well, affecting the relationship too.
When someone suspects they have sleep apnea, a great first step is actually to visit their local Cedar Park family dentist! Many dentists treat sleep apnea – since many of its causes are often inside the mouth – and can offer relief to those with the condition.
How a Cedar Park Family Dentist Can Help Treat Sleep Apnea?
If someone goes to a sleep disorder specialist for sleep apnea, they are most likely to be given a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. When combined with a mask worn at night, it creates constant air pressure within the throat, holding it open. CPAPs are the most common treatment for sleep apnea, but many people find the masks uncomfortable and difficult to sleep with.
1 – Tongue retaining devices
If the sleep apnea is caused by the tongue slipping back into the throat, the dentist can craft a retainer-style appliance that is worn while sleeping and holds the tongue in place.
2 – Oral pressure devices
If the patient’s soft palate (at the top rear of their mouth) is causing the issue, a different style of appliance holds it in place.
3 – Mandibular advancement splines
If the problem is with both the soft palate and the tongue, the dentist can create a pair of appliances that comfortably protrude the lower jaw forward. This helps improve sleep by helping to hold the throat open.
In short, if you have sleep apnea, our Cedar Park family dentist has plenty of treatment options. Make an appointment at Reveal Dental to learn more!