While severe obstructive sleep apnea is typically treated with a CPAP machine, patients with mild to moderate cases can usually be treated effectively with only an oral appliance. Dentists who treat sleep apnea are trained to help determine if a patient’s symptoms are being caused by the position of the lower jaw while sleeping.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a severe condition that interferes with the patient’s oxygen intake while asleep. With apnea, normal breathing patterns may slow down or pause during sleep, creating symptoms such as poor concentration, daytime sleepiness, and sluggish reflexes.
Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease may be exacerbated by sleep apnea. This condition can be serious but is highly treatable.
Mandibular Advancement Device
Medical professionals often work with dentists to acquire a definitive diagnosis when treatment with an oral appliance is recommended. A sleep study is almost always necessary to rule out any need for a CPAP machine. Oral appliances allow the patient to choose a more convenient and portable solution.
A mandibular advancement device is a commonly used oral appliance to treat sleep apnea patients. The device resembles a mouth guard and gently moves the lower jaw down and then slightly forward to help prevent any blockage of air during sleep. Excellent results can be achieved with this oral appliance.
Talk to Your Dentist If:
- Your partner has noticed pauses in breathing or snoring
- You have woken up gasping for air
- You are often fatigued throughout the day
- You experience increased headaches, irritability or depression
- You wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth
- You have difficulty staying asleep
- You have difficulty paying attention
Call Our Wake Forest Dental Office to Learn More
If you have any questions about sleep apnea, treatment, or have noticeable symptoms, call Wake Forest Dental Arts today to schedule an appointment. Let our dentist, Dr. Craig Winkelman help you get a good night’s rest with an oral appliance.