Sleep Apnea: How Your Dentist Can Help You Sleep Better

March 15, 2024

Sleep apnea is a widespread but often unnoticed sleep problem that impacts millions globally. It involves pauses in breathing while sleeping and can lead to severe health issues if not addressed. Many people get help from sleep doctors or lung specialists, but they might not know that their dentist in Colorado Springs can also help manage this issue and make sleep better.

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How Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea

Your dentist can offer various interventions to alleviate symptoms and improve sleep quality. Here are some treatments your dentist may offer:

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs)

MADs are custom-made oral appliances that reposition the lower jaw and tongue forward during sleep, preventing airway collapse and reducing obstructive sleep apnea events. These devices are comfortable to wear and can effectively treat mild to moderate sleep apnea.

Tongue Retaining Devices (TRDs)

TRDs are oral appliances designed to hold the tongue in a forward position, preventing it from blocking the airway during sleep. By keeping the tongue in place, TRDs help maintain an open airway and reduce sleep apnea symptoms, particularly in individuals with tongue-related airway obstruction.

Customized Oral Appliances

Customized oral appliances are tailored to fit each patient's mouth and address specific anatomical issues contributing to sleep apnea. These appliances work by repositioning the jaw, tongue, or soft tissues of the throat to keep the airway open during sleep. Customized oral appliances are highly effective in treating sleep apnea and are often preferred by patients due to their comfort and convenience.

Combination Therapy

In some cases, your dentist may recommend combination therapy, which involves using oral appliances in conjunction with other treatments for sleep apnea, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or lifestyle modifications. Combination therapy can enhance treatment effectiveness and improve patient outcomes, especially in individuals with severe sleep apnea or complex airway issues.

How Your Dentist Can Help You Sleep Better

Your dentist can help you improve your sleep quality and overall well-being through a variety of interventions. Here's how:

1. Initial Assessment  

Your dentist will conduct an assessment to evaluate your sleep habits, symptoms, and risk factors for sleep apnea. This may involve reviewing your medical history, performing a physical examination of the oral cavity and airway, and administering screening questionnaires.  

2. Customized Treatment Plans  

Based on the findings of the initial assessment, your dentist will develop a personalized treatment plan. This may include recommendations for lifestyle modifications, oral appliances, or other therapeutic interventions aimed at improving sleep quality and reducing sleep apnea symptoms.  

3. Monitoring Progress  

Your dentist will monitor your progress throughout the course of treatment, regularly assessing the effectiveness of interventions and making any necessary adjustments. This may involve follow-up appointments to evaluate appliance fit, assess treatment outcomes, and address any concerns or issues that may arise.  

4. Addressing Dental Issues Contributing to Sleep Apnea

In addition to treating sleep apnea directly, your dentist will also address any underlying dental issues that may be contributing to your condition. This may include addressing issues such as malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth), bruxism (teeth grinding), or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

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Need a Dentist in Colorado Springs to Help You with Sleep Apnea?  

Esthetic Family Dentistry is committed to improving your sleep quality and overall well-being by providing effective treatment options for sleep apnea. Don't let sleep apnea disrupt your restful sleep any longer. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and find out which treatment is right for you!

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