Sleep apnea, primarily obstructive sleep apnea, is an unpleasant medical condition that nobody wants to face. Though, it is much more common than you think. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.
So, what is the best treatment for it? And how can your dentist help?
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Anyone can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea - including kids. A few of the most common risk factors include excess weight, high blood pressure, smoking, asthma, narrowed airways, chronic congestion, and more. Whether you fit the risk factors or you don’t, some warning signs and symptoms can help you determine whether you have sleep apnea, such as:
- Loud snoring
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Morning headaches
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Awakening with a dry mouth and/or sore throat
- Waking up choking or gasping for air
- Night Time sweats
However, the best thing to do if you believe you may have sleep apnea is to contact your doctor. Using a sleep study, your doctor will be able to diagnose the condition so that treatment can be sought immediately. For those with serious sleep apnea, CPAP masks are often prescribed. These masks fit over the face and provide a steady flow of oxygen. But, for those who are only experiencing mild to moderate sleep apnea, a referral to your dentist may be exactly what you need.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea from Your Dentist
Dentists are educated in oral care and the use of appliances that can benefit sleep apnea. Who better to consult when wanting to align and relax your jaw to open your airways? There are a few different ways in which dentists offer treatment, but the most common is through the use of Oral Appliance Therapy.
Oral Appliance Therapy
As an alternative to big CPAP machines, Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) uses a device known as SomnoDent to maneuver your lower jaw and tongue in a manner that will reduce obstruction and open up the airways. These oral devices are custom-made to fit your mouth, giving you the best possible results.
SomnoDent is a splint that is often referred to as a mouthguard. It fits comfortably over your teeth as it moves your lower jaw forward just slightly. As a result, your airway remains open and your breathing is no longer obstructed while you are sleeping. This option is convenient, comfortable, and effective for many who use it.
Plus it comes with the following advantages:
- You can open and close your mouth as normal.
- Speech is not interrupted.
- You can still drink while wearing the device.
- Treatment has been proven effective.
- Custom to fit your mouth.
- Easily adjustable if needed.
- Small and easily transportable without the need for a power outlet.
Find the Best Treatment for Sleep Apnea at Barkoff Dental
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are looking for a treatment that fits your life comfortably, then SomnoDent could be for you. Contact our office at 516-921-1133 or request an appointment online.
Our professional team of dentists and staff look forward to helping you breathe easier.