Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep disruptions or feeling tired after waking up are two indicators of sleep apnea. While this condition isn’t one that dentists normally work with, a sleep apnea dental appliance may help some people with milder forms of it get the rest they need.
What is a Dental Appliance for Sleep Apnea?
The dental appliance that helps with sleep apnea resembles a mouthguard except that it fits over the upper and lower teeth. It is designed to help keep the lower jaw and tongue stay in a forward position to prevent the airway from obstruction by the tongue. When people with sleep apnea fall asleep, their tongues can fall back and block air from circulating normally.
Who can Get a Dental Appliance?
We work with physicians to help treat sleep apnea. After a diagnosis for sleep apnea has been made by a sleep physician, we can provide patients with a custom dental appliance. Our dentists evaluate the patients’ mouths and teeth before we take the necessary images and impressions to customize the appliance. The reason the evaluation is necessary is that some sleep apnea patients may also have bruxism.
Bruxism is grinding of the teeth at night when you sleep. If that’s the case, our dentists at Sapphire Smiles Dental Specialists will see the signs of it on the teeth because grinding can lead to cracks in the teeth and can flatten out their surfaces.
If the grinding continues, then teeth can break, which can lead to food particles getting stuck in areas of the tooth that are not easy to brush. Then decay can set in, which can lead to losing the tooth. Fortunately, a sleep apnea appliance can also prevent teeth grinding.
Customized for Comfort
The appliance that goes into your mouth at night is comfortable and allows patients to get the full cycle of the sleep they need at night to feel energetic and rested the next day. Patients who have these appliances can see results as soon as the next day. However, sleep apnea dental appliances aren’t for severe cases of sleep apnea, but mild cases of this medical condition.