Sleep is one thing that everyone in the world enjoys. When it’s disrupted it can leave us frustrated and focused on when we can sleep again rather than the daily tasks around us. For those that suffer from sleep apnea, it is an everyday battle to get the full amount of sleep needed. It may come as a shock, but sleep apnea is extremely common and can be fixed through proper dental care.
Now let’s break down what exactly sleep apnea is, what sleep apnea treatment options are available, and how exactly your dentist can help.
What is Sleep Apnea and What are the Sleep Apnea Treatment Options?
Sleep apnea is known for being a disorder where your breathing is interrupted, or paused, for at least 10 seconds repeatedly during sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million people suffer from sleep apnea and it can occur at any age. This can cause low blood oxygen levels and leave you feeling sleep deprived and weak the following day. Common indicators of somebody suffering from sleep apnea can be irritability, depression, and difficulty focusing.
There are two main types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea. OSA is more common and is the result of blocked airflow while you sleep. This can be caused by things like the soft tissue at the back of your throat collapsing. The less common type of sleep apnea is Central Sleep Apnea. This occurs when the brain fails to signal your muscles to move. Typically, there are more underlying health conditions like heart failure and a recent stroke that lead to this.
Both conditions are treatable and can be helped through a visit to your local dentist.
How and Why Should I Treat a Sleep Apnea Condition?
Most people don’t realize they’re suffering from a sleep apnea condition and will feel exhausted the next day like they didn’t get a good night’s sleep. When this is a repetitive occurrence, it eventually wears the human body down. This can make daily tasks stressful and strain personal relationships due to irritability. It can also keep other members in your household awake due to snoring.
Getting the proper treatment for your sleep apnea condition can be a major benefit for those personal relationships as well as your health. With specialized treatments to help, you can regain your ability to rest throughout the night, improve your dental health, and finally feel like yourself again.
Signs a Dentist Can Tell You’re Suffering From Sleep Apnea
Surprisingly, things like dental hygiene, cracked or grinding teeth, and cavities can be caused by sleep apnea. When you grind your teeth during sleep it can lead to tooth wear and breakage. When it’s happening often it can also assist in making your teeth susceptible to cavities and bacteria due to the damage they’re receiving. This can lead to dry mouth and tooth decay, and can also inflame your gums causing them to recede. While all of that doesn’t happen over a single night, it can leave you feeling sore with toothaches.
Additionally, a dentist can determine a sleep apnea condition from having a small jaw, redness in the throat from snoring, or a tongue with scallop like edges. All of these signs are something your dentist can treat to help you get back to a full night’s sleep.
Two Specialized Treatments
It’s true that some people avoid doctors and dentists to avoid discussing any kind of treatment, but meeting with your dentist can help improve your sleep apnea condition. It can make a huge difference in your ability to rest and also improve your dental hygiene to prevent future issues. Through testing and talking, your dentist can determine which sleep apnea condition you suffer from as well as provide you with the best sleep apnea treatment options. There’s no reason you should continue losing sleep when your dentist can help you alleviate your condition.
Oral Appliance Therapy – Probably the most comfortable treatment, you’ll have a custom made oral appliance that essentially fits the same way a mouthguard or a retainer does. Its main role is to bring support to your jaw, bringing it forward to allow you to maintain an open airway. While being comfortable, oral appliances are also portable so you can travel with them easily. They’ve also been known to help treat snoring.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – These are normally uncomfortable to wear, and are a bit different from the above mouthguard-like solutions. However, they are also made to help open up your airway by bringing your jaw forward. Using a mask that fits over your nose and mouth, they operate via a tube and motor that blows air down your throat. They are known for being quiet, portable, and having straps to hold them in place. The perk of a CPAP is that it allows airflow to continue as needed and for you to get the full night of sleep you deserve.
Scheduling an Appointment
There are various factors that could lead to a sleep apnea condition and just as many solutions to help beat them. With help from a dental professional, you can eliminate losing sleep and implement feeling like your full self again. At Barron Family Dental, we’ve been providing our patients in Thornton, Colorado with the best sleep apnea treatment options since 2016. Our goal is to alleviate sleep apnea and help you get the rest you deserve. Let us help bring that beautiful smile of yours back and assist in treating your sleep apnea condition.
Our office is located in Thornton, Colorado. Our staff is highly trained to make sure your comfort takes priority, and each room is set up with Netflix and designed to help you relax during your visit. Call us to schedule your appointment, or book online. We look forward to having you come by and helping determine how we can best serve you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.