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Sleep Apnea - Get Help from a Dentist
Written By : Wayne Sutton, DDS 
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Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of people. It is classified as a sleep disorder that results in a person not being able to breathe at irregular intervals while their asleep. These problematic breathing patterns will momentarily awake an individual from their sleep so that they can begin breathing again. This can leave a person feeling tired and drowsy during the day.

Common Characteristics of Sleep Apnea

The most common form of this sleep disorder is referred to as obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when an airway passage is blocked, which leads to breathing issues.

When sleep apnea is not properly taken care of, it can result in additional sleep disorders and health problems. This disorder is frequently attributed to the following conditions:

  • Memory Problems
  • Weight Gain
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Headaches
  • Gastric problems
  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke

It is critical for a sleep apnea sufferer to consult with their dentist about viable treatment options in order to avoid worsening their overall health.

How a Dentist Can Help with Sleep Apnea

A dentist may be able to assist a patient with mild to moderate sleep apnea by using oral or dental appliances that help to open up the airways that are being obstructed. There are a few ways that this can be accomplished:

  • A mandibular advancement device (MAD),
  • Tongue-retaining device, or a
  • Combination of the two

With a MAD, a dentist will insert a device that pushes the lower jaw forward. A tongue-retaining device aids in keeping the tongue from falling back and blocking the airway.

These devices are typically made of silicone or plastic and last several years. In order to properly care for the dental appliance, a patient must thoroughly brush it each day. The most popular of these two oral appliances is the MAD, as it can be adjusted by the dentist for the most comfort.

Who Are the Ideal Candidates

Patients that may benefit the most from an oral appliance are those individuals that:

  • Have problems with the c-pap or other apnea treatments
  • Are between 18 and 65 years old
  • Have mild / moderate sleep apnea
  • Have healthy teeth

How to Move Forward With an Oral Appliance

A dentist that is trained in obstructive sleep apnea treatments may be able to provide you with the good night's sleep that you are looking for. They have acquired the necessary training in the use of oral appliances and sleep medicine.

You should have a consultation with your dentist in order to determine your needs and to perform any necessary testing. The dentist will be able to evaluate your disorder to come up with an appropriate solution based on the quality of your sleep and the extent of your conditions. You may be able to cure the sleeping disorder that you are currently living with.

When considering a local dentist for sleep apnea related problems, take the time to find a professional that not only has the credentials and experience, but the passion to perform exceptional work.

Dr. Wayne Sutton is one of a select group of cosmetic dentist to be recognized as an Official Dentist of the Mrs. Globe - Mrs. USA Pageants. His lifetime goal is to become one of the premier cosmetic dentists in the world by constantly critiquing his own work in an honest and analytical manner. He believes that beauty of the fine arts can be applied to aesthetics in smile design. It is to this end that he continually strives in a singular purpose.

 
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