Sleep Apnea Treatment May Be As Close As Your Dentist

12 January 2023
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If a doctor has diagnosed you with sleep apnea, you are not alone. Estimations show sleep apnea affects approximately 20% of the population, and most people may not know they have it. Those that know typically use a CPAP machine to assist them in getting a good night's sleep. But you may not know that other sleep apnea treatment options are available through your dental office. What are these options, and how can they help? Read on for more information.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Although there are three forms of sleep apnea, the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. This condition occurs when your throat muscles relax and block your airways at night. Because this relaxation happens intermittently, snoring is one of the most noticeable signs. Other symptoms include:

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Restless sleep
  • Night sweats
  • Intellectual impairments
  • Headaches

You may also find yourself waking throughout the night gasping or choking.

When your chest or diaphragm attempts to retrieve air, the pressure often causes you to gasp or jerk to open your airways. This cycle repeats throughout the night interfering with your sleeping, reducing the flow of oxygen to your organs, and causing strain and stress on your diaphragm. 

How Can Your Dentist Help?

While most people diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to keep their airways open while they sleep, there are other options. Your dentist may be able to fit you with a dental appliance or an oral mandibular advancement device to treat your sleep apnea. 

These devices temporarily move your tongue and jaw forward during the night. This position keeps your tongue from blocking your throat and increases your airway space. 

An oral mandibular advancement device from your dentist is custom-made, although there are over-the-counter devices using the same concept for sleep apnea treatment. To fit you for a device, your dentist will take dental impressions of your mouth. They will design the device and then bring you back for an appointment to ensure it is the best fit. 

Once the dentist ensures you have a good fit, they will also provide you with a morning repositioner. You will use this device to realign your bite after you remove the oral mandibular advancement device each morning. Your dentist will also schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that the device works for you and you get the best benefits. 

Don't spend the rest of your life connected to a CPAP machine if you do not have to. Explore all of your options. For more information on sleep apnea treatment, contact a professional near you.