What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. This can cause a person to stop breathing hundreds of times per night, immensely disrupting their sleep. Here are some indications of a problem:
- Morning headaches
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Impaired mental or emotional functioning
- Excessive snoring, choking or gasping during sleep
- Waking with dry mouth or sore throat
We Can Help
Dentists are often the first professionals to become aware of a potential case of OSA and many are specially trained for the treatment of sleep apnea. We are just such a practice! While the most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliance therapy that dentists provide is the increasingly preferred form of treatment. This is due to the high rejection rate of CPAP therapy and the fact that oral appliances are much more convenient, portable, and easy to care for.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy uses a mouth guard-like device to maintain an open, unobstructed airway while you sleep. They are typically as easy to wear as most retainers. There are two ways the oral appliance works to open up your airway:
- By repositioning your lower jaw, it keeps your throat muscles engaged as you sleep, preventing them from collapsing.
- Oral appliances can also move your tongue forward, keeping it from falling back and blocking the throat.
What’s the process for diagnosing and treating sleep apnea at Henrich Dental?
We will do a thorough dental, head and neck exam. We treat sleep apnea in conjunction with your sleep doctor. If you don’t have a sleep doctor, your general physician can refer you to one. Often, medical insurance may be filed to covered the dental appliance.
Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s rest! The quality of your sleep is extremely important to your overall health and well-being. Ask us today how you can better your life by treating sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy.