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How Your Dentist Can Help Treat Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea

Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or find yourself waking up several times every night gasping for air? It is possible that you are affected by a common breathing disorder known as sleep apnea. While most people remain unaware of their sleep apnea for years, many people become aware of their night time breathing issues when their spouse tells them about their repetitive patterns of waking up gasping for air, stuttering snoring, or gaps between breaths ranging from 10-20 seconds. Sleep apnea is a serious issue which can lead to many dangerous health conditions, and should be treated promptly.

Treat Sleep Apnea:

Sleep apnea treatments vary depending on the severity of the issue and will be treated as your doctor sees fit. Many healthcare professionals have found that many cases of sleep apnea occur when the affected person sleeps in a specific position such as laying on their back. Treatment will often begin with adjusting the sleeping position. Continuous positive airway pressure involves wearing a mask while you sleep which has been found to be the most effective treatment for sleep apnea due to its reliable ability of keeping the collapsing airways open. Other treatment options include medications, or your doctor may suggest you seek treatment from a dentist.

How a Dentist Can Help

Dentists are able to help treat sleep apnea by providing an oral appliance to use during sleep. Oral appliances resemble dental retainers which hold the bottom jaw forward to open the breathing airways, allowing you to breathe without restriction while you are sleeping.

The severity of sleep apnea varies among people, so no treatment method is guaranteed to work for everyone. Speak with your dentist about treatment methods if you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea.