How Can Dental Care Fight Sleep Apnea?

Visiting your local dentist and following oral hygiene practices are essential for good oral health. In fact, did you know it could affect other aspects of your health, like sleep? If you’re dealing with sleep apnea, the right dental care can help. Read on to see how!

Oral Exam

There are many reasons for improper sleep. After all, sleep apnea happens when there’s a blockage in your airway at night, which is usually due to how your lower jaw moves during sleep. When you come in for your biannual cleaning appointment we would be happy to assess your airway and discuss if you may be prone to sleep apnea.

Sleep Devices

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, about 26% of adults between the ages of 30 and 70 years have sleep apnea. Many of these people are treating sleep apnea problems thanks to oral devices provided by dental professionals. While the CPAP is the most commonly used and best option for treating sleep apnea, many people have a hard time adjusting to the machine. Dr. Doug Phillips is a diplomat with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and works with you and your sleep physician to decide if an oral appliance may be a better option for you.

Tooth Straightening

Do you have crooked or misaligned teeth? This can cause the shape of your arch to be narrow. A narrow arch does not have a lot of room for your tongue which blocks the airway, and causes you to wake up several times in the night. Our doctors can easily see if the shape of your arch could benefit from orthodontic therapy to realign things, ultimately opening your airway which can reduce the likelihood of sleep apnea. From there, you’ll have a more aligned jaw which can reduce the likelihood of sleep apnea.

Collaborations With Other Medical Professionals

Sometimes the dentist is your first approach when discussing possible sleep apnea. However, we are more than happy to collaborate with your primary care physician and sleep physician to create a plan that can help you. With this team on your side, you’ll have the necessary help to manage your sleep apnea problem.

When you don’t sleep well, you can suffer from a range of other health problems like fatigue, weight gain, inflammation, and cognitive decline. However, we can work with you to find the right custom sleeping devices to keep your jaw aligned. For more information about our custom devices for sleep management, contact us for a consultation!

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