People understand that when they’re having problems with their teeth, they need to go visit their friendly Cedar Park family dentist. But what if we told you that you also should see your dentist when you’re having trouble sleeping? If you are a snorer, or you’re suffering from Sleep Apnea, a dentist might be the best way to begin seeking treatment!
Why You Should Visit Your Cedar Park Family Dentist for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition where a person has difficulty sleeping at night due to their airway closing partially or completely while asleep. Basically, the muscles around their throat and tongue become relaxed, then their soft palate and/or their tongue begins to slip back into their throat. This causes the airway to become constricted.
In mild to moderate cases, this merely tightens the airway – leading to heavy snoring, reduced airflow, and trouble sleeping soundly. In more severe cases, it may close entirely, leaving the sleeper gasping for air.
Fortunately, since the primary causes of sleep apnea are in the mouth, a dentist has tools which can help prevent it!
There are three basic options a Cedar Park family dentist might try:
1 – Tongue retaining devices
If the dentist decides that the problem is the tongue slipping backwards into the throat, they can construct a retainer designed to keep the tongue in place.
2 – Oral pressure appliances
If the problem is the soft palate (at the top-rear of the mouth) then a different oral sleep appliance can be used to put slight pressure on the soft palate, to keep it and the tongue separated.
3 – Mandibular advancement devices
These are custom-tailored devices which fit onto both the top and bottom of a person’s mouth, and pushes their jaw forward while they sleep. In doing so, this helps keep the throat open, and pulls the tongue away from the airway.
Can Dentists Cure All Types of Sleep Apnea?
Unfortunately not every case of sleep apnea is treatable with an oral appliance from your dentist, but there are a lot of people using CPAP machines that might have better luck with less cumbersome dental devices. Only the most severe cases will require more extensive appliances, or possibly even surgery. Never the less, if a person suffers from sleep apnea, a dentist is the perfect choice to start investigating the issue. If the sleep apnea is too severe for the dentist to help treat, they can refer the patient to a specialist.
If you think you have sleep apnea, don’t keep losing sleep over it! Contact Reveal Dental.