Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that occurs while an individual is asleep. Because it affects the respiratory system, many people think this issue can only be treated by a doctor. However, many dentists specialize in treating this disorder with oral apparatuses. Fuller Dental, a dental practice in Burlington, NC, provides details about sleep apnea treatment from a dentist.
Do I need sleep apnea treatment?
Sleep apnea can sometimes be dismissed as snoring, but the patients with this disorder experience moments during their sleep when they stop breathing for some periods of time. These patients may not realize they are experiencing this phenomenon unless informed by their partner.
Other symptoms an individual may notice on their own include grogginess during the day, irritability, and headaches. The cessation of breathing and lack of quality sleep can lead to serious health problems. Mild cases can be treated with oral apparatuses from a dentist.
What can I expect?
Many doctors recommend the use of a CPAP machine. Patients with milder symptoms can seek treatment from a dentist through an oral appliance. An oral sleep appliance is similar to a mouthguard and is worn during sleep to prevent the collapse of soft tissue in the back of the throat that causes the cessation of breathing. The device repositions your jaw to allow continuous airflow as you sleep. The appliance is customized to fit your unique mouth for optimum comfort, convenience, and effectiveness. You can also speak and drink fluids while wearing the appliance.
Are there risks with this treatment?
Continued low-quality sleep and cessations of breathing from sleep apnea can lead to heart problems and issues with cognitive function. This is why it’s important not to ignore symptoms. CPAP treatment can be uncomfortable for some patients, leading patients to continue disruptive sleep or avoid using the machine as prescribed.
The compliance rate for oral appliances is high, meaning patients are more likely to use this treatment and see improved sleep. The customized comfort of the apparatus means falling asleep should not be an issue. You should see improved symptoms after your first night of use. If you notice soreness in your mouth or jaw after extended use of the appliance, let your dentist know so adjustments in the fit can be made.
Get treatment for your sleep apnea
Fuller Dental offers sleep apnea treatment to patients in Burlington, NC. We also provide preventative care, implants, and cosmetic and restorative dentistry services. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or by phone at 336.290.7401. We have virtual appointments available for those who are interested.