Can a Sleep Apnea Dentist Really Help Me?

Posted on: January 18, 2017

Sleep ApneaAs a sleep apnea dentist in Longview, people ask us whether or not we can help them to feel better and more energized. Fortunately, we have a few treatment methods that can help. Sleep apnea is a condition that most people do not know about and those that do, do not associate treatment with a visit to the dentist. This is understandable due to the lack of knowledge behind what causes sleep apnea in the first place.

With that in mind, here is what you need to know about the condition and how we can help.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, OSA, is a condition that forms when the muscles supporting the lower jaw become too weak to hold it in place. As a result, the jaw falls backwards and so does the tongue. In this position, the tongue blocks the airways and makes it difficult to breath. This difficulty in breathing proves problematic because it can limit the amount of oxygen that one gets at night and causes one to feel more exhaustion upon waking up. OSA can also make it difficult to sleep in general, both for you and your partner. Many people report making choking or gasping sounds throughout the night and having these sounds interrupt sleep.

How Can Sleep Apnea Impact Me?

If you are not getting enough sleep, you will be incredibly fatigued throughout the day. This can make it difficult to engage in normal daily activities, stay up past dinner or even drive. Since driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, this can put you and other drivers at risk. The goal then is to ensure that you can receive the oxygen you need to stay awake and alert. The best way to do this is to treat your sleep apnea and ensure that you can breathe clearly while you sleep. As a sleep apnea dentist, that is exactly what we can do for you.

How Do You Treat Sleep Apnea?

First we want to know how the air moves thru your nose. People who have chronic allergies and sinus problems are most often chronic mouth breathers because they have issues with the air passing thru their nose. Even the lingual frenum may act as a tether to the tongue and keep it in the wrong position inside your mouth.

When you visit our sleep apnea dentist office in Longview, we will start by determining if you do suffer from these conditions. The next step may require an at-home sleep study. This is where you use a device to monitor your breathing patterns, oxygenation, heart rate and record what happens, for us to review the next day. By looking at the test results, we will be able to tell whether or not you are getting the oxygen that you need at night. If you are diagnosed, the treatment solution is easier than you may think.

If an oral appliance is recommended than we can take impressions of your mouth. This information will then be sent to the dental lab so that a removable oral appliance can be created for you to wear while you sleep. It is small and looks like a full retainer that connects to your upper and lower jaw. When you wear it, your jaw will be held in place so that it cannot fall backwards at night. Your tongue will also remain in place and your airways clear. The result of this simple treatment is that you breathe better and improve your oxygen levels so that you will feel more energized and healthier overall.

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