Sleep Apnea and Your General Dentist: The Link

Sleep Apnea Emerson, NJ

Millions of people all over the world live with sleep apnea, however, a good number of those are yet undiagnosed. Most people would probably think of a sleep clinic first for diagnosis and treatment, but the general dentist is sometimes the first professional to discover signs of the condition. They also provide options to ease the condition. Continue reading to discover the link between sleep apnea and your general dentist.

An overview of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep condition that causes breathing to cease at different points throughout a sleep cycle. The condition can be obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most prevalent type, in which the soft tissues in the airways collapse during sleep, causing breathing interruptions. The collapse stops oxygen from going through the air passages into the lungs.

With central sleep apnea, the brain stops sending signals required to maintain breathing during sleep. There is no physical disturbance in the airways, although the body will react like there was an interruption.

Both forms of sleep apnea disrupt sleep patterns. Patients living with untreated or undiagnosed sleep apnea will usually wake up feeling tired and exhausted. Without treatment, sleep apnea has short and long term consequences on physical and mental health.

The role of general dentists in sleep apnea treatment

The general dentist can be an excellent partner in the treatment of sleep apnea. After a diagnosis, a dental appointment can help patients discover treatment options for the condition. The dental professional will usually recommend the use of oral appliances. The devices ease symptoms with patients who have mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.

Mandibular advancement devices (MAD) are the most common oral appliances. The devices look similar to mouthguards and shift the lower jaw forward. At this position, the muscles that collapse during sleep tighten and do not fall, so the airways stay open. Gradually, the device can strengthen the airway to reduce or even stop sleep apnea completely. The devices are sometimes adjustable so that the patient can adjust the position of the jaw.

The dentist will assess the patient’s oral cavity to know if they are eligible for the device. If so, they will create models or impressions of the teeth so that a fitting oral device can be created. A precise fit is crucial since a wrong-fitting device can contribute to jaw damage. Patients will wear the device during the night to relieve sleep apnea symptoms.

Tongue-retaining devices are another option, though less common. They hold the person’s tongue in a forward position to ensure the airway stays open during sleep. They can be used for those who cannot get the MAD.

In conclusion

The dentist will work closely with the patient to ensure the oral device is effective and improving the symptoms. Initially, the device may be uncomfortable, but adjustment occurs within a few days. With consistency and regular monitoring, patients with sleep apnea can get the best results and sleep better at night. If you have received a diagnosis and want to learn more about your treatment options, book an appointment with the general dentist for a consultation.

Request an appointment here: https://www.emersondental.com or call Emerson Dental Associates at (201) 620-9998 for an appointment in our Emerson office.

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

Recent Posts

How Your Dentist Can Tell If You Might Have Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a very common problem that a lot of people suffer from. The disorder can be very dangerous to one's health, however with the help of a dentist the signs can be identified and the appropriate steps can be taken to reduce symptoms.It may be surprising to learn that a dentist plays a…

Sleep Problems Can Make It Difficult To Smile

You do not need to struggle with sleep apnea. Call us to schedule an appointment for treatment.If you or a loved one struggles with snoring while asleep, you might be surprised to know that dental treatment can help. While people may snore from time to time, loud, excessive snoring can be the sign of a…

The Importance Of A Regular Dental Check-Up

You should not book a dental check-up only when there is an oral issue that requires treatment. Many people believe that brushing their teeth and flossing should be enough to keep their teeth in good condition. However, simply brushing your teeth is not enough to keep your teeth free of debris that may cause issues…

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late. Schedule A Dental Checkup Today.

Without proper care, candy can greatly damage your teeth. Schedule a dental checkup to keep your teeth healthyIf it's time for a dental checkup, don't delay. When it comes to maintaining your oral health, it is crucial to seek regular checkups at least twice a year. With professional dental checkups, we can help prevent any…

Recent Posts

The Importance Of A Regular Dental Check Up

The Importance Of A Regular Dental Check-Up

You should not book a dental check-up only when there is an oral issue that requires treatment. Many people believe that brushing their teeth and flossing should be enough to keep their teeth in good condition. However, simply brushing your teeth is not enough to keep your teeth free of debris that may cause issues…

Why It&#    ;s Important To Leave Denture Repair To A Dental Professional

Why It's Important To Leave Denture Repair To A Dental Professional

In need of a denture repair? Those who wear dentures often find a need to have them repaired at one point or another. These tooth replacement appliances are extremely susceptible to damages. Their delicate materials make them extremely durable, but also prone to things like cracking or chipping. A common question that comes along with denture…