When people experiencing sleep apnea are looking for specialists to treat their condition, their dentist rarely comes to mind. This is unfortunate as your dentist plays a central role in helping to manage this condition, the risks of which can be severe and life-threatening. As specialists from every field come together to find a solution, dentists have become one of the most trusted physicians to help address it. Along with your primary care provider, your dentists can help you take steps to get your Sleep Apnea under control.
Dental Sleep Medicine And You
An entire field of dentistry is dedicated to insomnia, sleep apnea, and snoring. This condition is known as dental sleep medicine and involves the collaboration of dentists with other clinicians and doctors to find effective treatments for sleep apnea. Their primary role is often the prescription of oral appliance therapy that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of CPAP therapy. The devices are known as tongue-retaining mouthpieces and mandibular advancement devices (MADs).
Patients who experience minimal jaw flexibility may benefit from the administration of a tongue-retaining mouthpiece. These devices secure the tongue away from the air’s passageway by using light suction force to hold it in place after being fitted around the tongue.
Mandibular Advancement Devices
Those familiar with athletic mouthguards will find some recognizable elements in Mandibular Advancement Devices. They fit over both sets of teeth with a hinge that connects two trays together in the center of the device. With these in place, it holds the tongue slightly forward and keeps the lower jaw open throughout the night. This position moves soft tissue away from the throat, preventing it from impeding your breathing during the night. These devices need to be adjusted by a professional to get the best fit and get the best results.
How Do Dentists Help Treat Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea has been revealed to be one of the fastest-growing conditions in America, and the health concerns associated with it are severe. Dentists and Doctors work together to help those suffering from sleep disorders that involve breathing by identifying symptoms, going over the patient’s medical history, and making treatment choices based on these. Ongoing communication and collaboration between the dentist and your primary care physician will continue as you progress, so any necessary adjustments can be made to ensure you get the results you need. The oral devices that are prescribed as part of this treatment can only be fitted and provided by a dentist.
If you want to investigate more ways your dentist can help you battle sleep apnea, call Sabal General Dentistry today. Dr. Patrick O’Malley and his team of dental experts work with the surrounding community in Rockdale, TX, to address dentistry related concerns like sleep apnea. Call our offices to arrange an appointment and start moving down the road towards a full night of restful, restorative sleep. Don’t let sleep apnea impact your quality and length of life, call us today, and start getting results!