Individuals who struggle with symptoms of sleep apnea may not realize the help their dentist can provide by assessing or treating this sleep disorder. Dentists will often ask patients about their sleep habits to assess the possibility of an individual dealing with apnea, though there are other oral health signs that could lead to a…
3 Common Treatments for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a relatively common sleep disorder in which the person continually wakes up during the night due to a sudden and temporary inability to breathe. Patients with sleep apnea have multiple treatment options available to them to help relieve the symptoms of this sleep disorder.
3 Treatments for sleep apnea from a dentist
Some patients can relieve their sleep apnea with lifestyle and dietary changes alone. However, many patients require treatment from a dental or medical professional or the use of store-bought devices. This review discusses three of the more frequently recommended sleep apnea treatment options and when one may work better than another.
1. Oral appliances
Oral appliances are often the first method of treatment a dentist may recommend for people that have not found relief from their sleep apnea through lifestyle changes. An oral appliance for sleep apnea is designed to keep the throat and airway open throughout the night. The specific design of the oral appliance depends on what suits the patient best. For example, the oral appliance could be designed to bring the lower jaw forward to reduce the risk of the throat closing up and causing the person to wake up. Each oral appliance is custom-tailored for the person, and there are different types of oral appliances that the dentist may recommend or try.
2. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
Continuous positive airway pressure machines, known more commonly as CPAP machines, are a more traditional treatment approach to sleep apnea. This airway pressure device opens up the airways to help ensure the patient does not have any moments where they stop breathing while sleeping, leading them to wake up. The machine delivers air pressure through a mask that the patient wears while they are asleep. CPAP machines are effective in treating many cases of sleep apnea, but many people grow tired of using the often awkward machinery. Nevertheless, it can be a great temporary or long-term solution for treating sleep apnea for patients who are not bothered by the mask or machinery.
3. Oral surgery
There are a number of surgical procedures that can help relieve sleep apnea in many patients. Of course, surgical procedures are only utilized if non-surgical treatment options such as oral appliances for sleep apnea have not worked. The most notable types of surgical procedures used to treat sleep apnea are uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (tissue removal in the mouth and throat), jaw repositioning, soft palate implants, and a tracheostomy. The specific surgery that works best for the patient depends on the cause of their sleep apnea.
Get treatment for sleep apnea
Here at our dental practice, we offer oral appliances and other treatment solutions that can help with sleep apnea symptoms as well as address the underlying cause of the condition. If you are struggling with symptoms of sleep apnea and have not found the desired relief from lifestyle changes, then call our team today to schedule a visit and find out more about your treatment options.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sleep Apnea in Kaysville, UT.
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