Sleep apnea is a disorder in which an individual experiences interrupted breathing while asleep. Because this condition affects the respiratory system, many patients contact their doctors about their symptoms. Dental professionals can also treat sleep apnea. Dr. Uttma Dham, a dentist located near Davie, FL, describes how dentists can help you treat your sleep apnea.
How do I know I have sleep apnea?
Since sleep apnea occurs while a patient is unconscious, it is not always easy to realize you have this disorder. While asleep, patients with sleep apnea experience a collapse of muscles and tissue in the back of the throat that temporarily blocks the airway. Your partner may notice loud snoring or periods of breathing cessation during the night. Individuals may wake up gasping for air or recognize daytime grogginess or drowsiness due to low-quality sleep. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you should contact a medical professional for a consultation.
How does a dentist treat sleep apnea?
A doctor may recommend treating sleep apnea with a CPAP machine that forces pressurized air through the airway via a mask worn over the nose or mouth. However, a dentist can treat mild cases of sleep apnea with an oral appliance. A customized mouthguard-like device can be constructed by your dentist to manage sleep apnea symptoms. The appliance can reposition your jaw so that your airway remains open as you sleep. The custom fit allows for comfort, convenience, and effectiveness.
Are there risks with this treatment?
Sleep apnea can increase mental and physical health risks if left untreated. Lack of quality sleep can reduce cognitive function over time, and the breathing inconsistency on top of that can increase heart problems. A CPAP machine can resolve breathing issues during sleep, but the device is loud and sometimes uncomfortable for patients. This can lead to patients experiencing disrupted sleep or electing not to use the machine as prescribed. Health risks, in this case, can continue for these patients.
The oral appliance from a dentist fits comfortably to your unique mouth, alleviating sleep and breathing problems without disrupting a patient’s sleeping pattern. If you experience slippage during the night with your device, you should contact your dentist to adjust the fit.
Treat sleep apnea in Davie, FL
Westside Dental Center offers sleep apnea treatment for patients near Davie, FL. Dr. Dham also specializes in general, cosmetic, implant, and restorative dental services. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 954.251.0640.