If sleep apnea patients were able to hear that a dentist could really help them, it goes without saying that most of them would think that it was a myth. The fact of the matter is that dental professionals have been able to help a lot of sleep apnea sufferers with this particular condition. Dentists can be very useful as part of a custom team that works together to manage this health concern. In some areas, you will find specialist sleep apnea dentists that are ready to help you!
An orthodontist or a specialist dentist, like the dentists at Shine Dental Associates, will be able to use oral appliance for moving the positioning of the jaw as well as the tongue to tackle some of the known problems that are associated with sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea happens whenever the airway becomes blocked by the soft tissues that are located in the back of the throat. This will cause the patient to start breathing for a brief period of time during the night, known as apneas. These are episodes that will last between 10 to 20 seconds and can happen a number of times throughout the night.
Disturbed sleep as well as tiredness during the day are two common side effects of sleep apnea. However, sleep partners will usually be very aware of another common symptom, which is loud snoring. It is not all that uncommon that everyone in the household ends up with disturbed sleep due to the loud snores at night.
There are a coupe of devices that a sleep apnea dentist could use to overcome such a problem, including the mandibular advancement device and the tongue retaining device.
The mandibular advancement device works to move the jaw forward, also moving the tongue as well as the soft tissues that are in the back of the throat. This will make it a lot less likely that the airway becomes obstructed. Such devices are made of thermoplastic or acrylic and crafted to suit the patient. A tongue retaining device will also have a spot where the tongue gets held with suction. This can be useful for any patient that has just a few teeth or no teeth at all.
These appliances can be very effective to help with overcoming snoring and sleep apnea. The best chance for success is for use with patients who have either mild or moderate sleep apnea.
Just like using another medical device, there can be a period of time for adjusting. For some patients, there may be pain or aching, a dry mouth or increased salivation. These issues can all be talked over with a sleep apnea dentist to help you come up with a solution that is customized to your needs.