Brunette man in a maroon shirt yawns because he has obstructive sleep apnea

Can My Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?

June 29, 2022 3:54 am
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Do you ever wake up gasping for air in the middle of the night? Are you infamous for your snoring that keeps your partner awake? These are just two symptoms of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder. If ignored, this condition can have serious health consequences. Luckily, there are treatments available from the dentist! You’re likely wondering: how does a dentist treat sleep apnea?

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Several factors can contribute to sleep apnea, including genetics, excess weight, enlarged tonsils, and a narrow airway. Most people with sleep apnea have obstructive sleep apnea, which is when the soft tissue at the back of your throat constricts and blocks your airway. This makes it harder to breathe, which disrupts vital nutrients from getting to your organs. You may wake up out of breath, feel tired no matter how much sleep you get, snore loudly, get frequent headaches, have trouble focusing, and experience irritability and mood swings.

How Do Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea?

While CPAP machines are a common treatment for sleep apnea, there are alternatives. Many sleep apnea cases can be resolved at the dentist’s office. At Rockingham Prosthodontics, we offer oral appliances for obstructive sleep apnea. These cost-effective appliances fit comfortably in your mouth and keep your airways open as you sleep.

Untreated Sleep Apnea

Because sleep apnea interrupts a good night’s sleep and the flow of oxygen to your brain and organs, it has many negative effects on your health. For example, you may experience an increased risk of stroke, hypertension, heart attack, and diabetes. Your oral health can be affected, as well, since many people with sleep apnea sleep with their mouths open. Dry mouth increases your risk of plaque accumulation, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Harrisonburg, VA

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, Dr. Rigby and our team can help at Rockingham Prosthodontics! A custom-made, non-invasive oral appliance could be the perfect solution. We also offer other preventive dentistry services, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and emergency dental care. Please contact us today with any questions or to book an appointment.

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