Sleep apnea can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. If you snore, your family or partner may also have trouble sleeping. Between 50 and 70 million people suffer from sleep apnea each night in the United States. Snoring can be an inconvenience, but sleep apnea can cause more serious health issues over time, so treatment is essential.
A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is commonly used for individuals who suffer from a condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles supporting the soft tissues in your throat, such as your tongue and soft palate, relax temporarily. Your airway narrows or closes when these muscles relax, and breathing is temporarily halted. The CPAP machine uses a breathing mask to provide airflow while sleeping. Some users may feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable when wearing the mask.
Our sleep apnea dentist in 21061 treats patients who suffer from sleep apnea in our dental office and recommend treatment options that are effective for them. Some examples are below.
Oral appliances such as mouthguards provide a standard treatment option for mild cases of sleep apnea that does not require as much care and effort as CPAP. During sleep, mouthguards hold the tongue in place or ease the jaw forward, helping to open and maintain the airway. Because this appliance is smaller, it requires less maintenance.
Occasionally, a genetic condition can also result in sleep apnea. Some people are born with large tonsils or extra tissue in their throats, which can cause difficulty breathing while they are sleeping. In addition, the tongue, jaw, soft palate, and other areas may also be affected. Patients may undergo oral surgery to greatly improve their breathing while sleeping due to permanent changes in their anatomy.
Positioning during sleep can potentially cause sleep apnea because it hinders breathing. Research suggests sleeping on your stomach or your side can reduce the chances of developing sleep apnea. The use of devices attached to the waist or back can reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea by preventing people from lying on their backs while they sleep.
A lifestyle change might be an option for treating mild or severe sleep apnea. If you are overweight, weight loss can help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea. Aside from CPAP therapy, other treatment options are available for patients with sleep apnea.
Please contact our sleep apnea dental office in Glen Burnie, MD if you have any questions about sleep apnea or if you would like to schedule a consultation.