Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dental Oral Devices Used to Treat Sleep Apnea Patients

Lots of people snore, but dentists who treat sleep apnea problems are trained to diagnose if a patient’s loud sleep patterns are caused by the sleep disorder or not. Sleep apnea is a severe condition that interferes with oxygen intake while an affected person sleeps. It’s a lot different than snoring.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is not just a snoring problem. It is a condition that requires immediate treatment. Normal breathing patterns may slow or pause during sleep. It creates sleep deprivation symptoms such as poor concentration, daytime sleepiness and slower reflexes. More sever medical conditions may be triggered by sleep apnea effects such as diabetes, high blood pressure , heart disease, stroke and weight gain. Sleep apnea is treatable and medical professionals will help get sleep patterns back on track and lower the risk of additional medical problems.

Dental device treats sleep apnea

Dentists and orthodontists can help patients determine which treatment device would be the best option for their particular situation. Patients must consider insurance coverage, comfort and optimized results. With any medical concern, it is important to explore all the options before making a final decision.

Dental device options for sleep apnea

Mandibular Advancement Device: It is a commonly used oral device to treat sleep apnea patients. The device resembles a sport’s mouth guard and helps force the lower jaw down and then slightly forward to help prevent any blockage of air during sleep. Breathing patterns normalize at night and sleep apnea consequences diminish.

Tongue-retraining device: This device is similar to a splint and is used to hold the tongue in the correct position at night. If this device is chosen, it is important to continue with routine dental check-ups since this device may require occasional adjustments or replacement.

Regular dental check-ups do the whole body good!

These devices help to improve overall health of patients with sleep apnea. Dentists don’t just treat teeth and gums. The mouth is an important part of the body and is often used to help diagnose more severe problems like oral cancer, kidney malfunction and diabetes. Treating sleep apnea is a life-changing event for many dental patients. As normal sleep patterns return, the body will benefit immensely.

Talk to your dentist if you are experiencing symptoms such as:

• Pauses while snoring (a partner may be able to notice this)
• Choking or gasping following breathing pauses
• Fighting daytime sleepiness
• Headaches, irritability or depression
• Mood swings
• Sore throat and/or dry mouth when you wake
• Difficulty staying asleep
• Attention problems

A dentist, orthodontist or primary physician will be able to help you diagnose sleep apnea. It is important to clear up the problem before more severe medical issues have an opportunity to begin.

If you have any questions about sleep apnea, treatment or have noticeable symptoms, call the office of Forrest Tower, D.D.S. today and schedule an appointment. A good night’s sleep does a body good. Let your dentist find a solution with an oral device to treat sleep apnea conditions.