How Can a Dentist Help Ease Sleep Apnea?


Every year more than 900,000 people in Canada are diagnosed with a condition called sleep apnea. If you are also a victim of this ailment, then there is nothing to panic as help is at hand. A good dentist can conduct your thorough diagnosis and provide you with the best treatment plan that can work wonders in minimizing the symptoms.

Basics of Sleep Apnea

In its simplest term, sleep apnea refers to that condition which makes a person often stop breathing during the sleep cycles. Sleep apnea is of two forms- central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Of these, the latter is prevalent. During the breathing interruptions known as apnea, the soft tissues in the airway collapse, and it is this collapse that stops the oxygen to pass via the airway and reach the lungs. In the case of the former, the brain prevents sending messages in the body for breathing during sleep. Here the airway does not face any physical disruption through the body responds in a manner that an interruption has taken place. In fact, both forms can disrupt one’s sleep pattern.

Its Impact on the Health

The condition called sleep apnea may boost up the danger of other chronic health ailments which can most impact both the physical and mental health alike. It can result in high blood pressure, mood disorders like bipolar disorder, dysthymia, mania and depression or heart disease. Besides, one can also suffer from obesity and stroke.

How Can a Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?

A dentist in the real sense can act as a valuable partner when it comes to treating sleep apnea. They will first conduct a thorough diagnosis of the patient and based on the results may suggest them to wear oral appliances. Such devices will help in easing the symptoms in those having a normal weight and with sleep apnea that is mild to moderate. Dental sleep devices or mandibular advancement devices are widely used. Having the appearance of a mouth guard, it helps in pushing the lower jaw of the patient forward.

The muscles in this position that collapses during the apnea will tighten to prevent it from falling. The oral appliances over time will make the airway strong and rigid to eliminate or reduce apneas. Most of the devices are adjustable which means the user can alter its position. The tongue-retaining devices, on the other hand, are not used much, yet are ideal for mouths of a broader range. It helps to hold the tongue of the patient towards the forward position.

When the tongue gets attached with the lower jaw, the device will assist in keeping the airway open. For the best sleep apnea treatment contact the best dentist in Coral Gables Dental Solutions.

The dentist will work with the patient carefully to ensure that the oral appliance is working and thereby improving their symptoms. Initially, the device may appear uncomfortable, but one will get used to it within a couple of days. Continued use coupled with regular monitoring will aid the oral appliance user to get the best outcomes.