Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Sleep Apnea Birmingham, AL

Sleep apnea is a significant sleeping problem that may cause severe sleep disturbance. It might potentially cause other health problems if left untreated. Fortunately, a general dentistry professional can provide treatment options. Oral appliances and other breathing equipment are two therapy options for sleep apnea.

Although it may seem weird to visit the dental office for sleep apnea treatment, general dentists are skilled in this area. This information may be useful if you are struggling with this sleeping issue. To learn more, keep reading.

Treatment options for sleep apnea

Identifying the contributing causes of sleep apnea is important in treating and preventing the condition. Airway obstruction is the most prevalent cause of sleep apnea and could be due to airway structure. Nasal congestion brought on by allergies or a cold might exacerbate the problem. This condition is commonly worsened due to obesity. Menopause may increase the risk of sleep apnea in women. Sleeping positions might also play a role in airway restriction. Alcohol and muscle relaxants may cause sleep breathing problems.

Addressing the underlying cause of sleep apnea can help patients feel better. Weight reduction might be all that is needed to cure both snoring and sleep apnea in some patients. However, not all causes are reversible. When sleep apnea persists, the dental professional may recommend other treatment options, including dental appliances and CPAP machines.

The dental professional may recommend a sleep study for patients with snoring or an obstruction. While treating sleep apnea using dentistry may seem unusual, it is quite common. Dental sleep medicine is a branch of dentistry that focuses on using mouth appliances to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

In the case of OSA, the muscles behind the throat collapse, causing the tissues in the area to restrict the air passages. It is also possible that the tongue may slip back, obstructing the airway. If getting an oral appliance will help, patients should have an oral appliance provided by an experienced general dentist. The oral appliance therapy will help maintain an open airway during sleep.

Adjusting to oral appliance therapy

Oral appliance therapy entails sleeping with a detachable oral appliance that fits in your mouth like a mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. There are various distinct kinds of mouth appliances to treat obstructive sleep apnea, each with its own appearance. Oral appliances are divided into mandibular advancement devices and tongue repositioning devices, each of which prevents OSA in a slightly different way. The tongue-retaining device prevents the tongue from collapsing and blocking the airways.

Mandibular advancement devices

Dentists often employ mandibular advancement devices to treat sleep apnea patients. MADs are designed to keep a person's mouth in a certain posture while they sleep. The mouthguard will keep the mouth open all night. MADs are made for each individual and are meant to be worn while sleeping. They are easy to use and have a high compliance rate.

The dentist will closely monitor the patient's progress with a custom-made mouth appliance and make adjustments if necessary. Patients need to stick to the dentist's recommended follow-up plan to ensure the device is operating correctly and that the symptoms are improving. A few days of wearing the gadget while sleeping is generally all it takes to become used to it. The dentist will go over the mechanics of the procedure and how to properly care for the new oral appliance.

CPAP machines

Moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea are also treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) equipment. A dentist can provide one to the patient if required. A mask that covers the nose and mouth, a breathing machine, and a cannula (a tube that links the mask to the machine) are the three major components of a CPAP machine.

The dentist may prescribe that patients use a CPAP machine at night for sleep apnea treatment. The mask will cover a person's face, and the machine will operate all night. The CPAP machine delivers positive air into the airway, which keeps it from collapsing entirely. Sleeping with a CPAP mask on might be challenging for some people, but the benefits are usually worth it. Sometimes, the dentist might recommend oral devices and CPAP machines together for better results.

Book an appointment today

Sleep apnea may wreak havoc on a person's sleep, but there are a variety of treatment options. A dentist can assess your problem and work towards providing you with nighttime respite. Please get in touch with the dental office if you have any concerns regarding sleep apnea therapy. Any treatment alternatives will be gladly discussed with you by the dental professional.

Request an appointment here: or call Inverness Smiles: John Aiken, DMD at (205) 282-8261 for an appointment in our Birmingham office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sleep Apnea in Birmingham, AL.

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