Can Your Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a medical condition that many people deal with every year. You might have noticed some symptoms of sleep apnea yourself. Your partner may also clue you in on certain symptoms that occur when you sleep. This is a major medical condition that needs proper attention. One way to treat your sleep apnea often begins at your dentist's office. Though this may sound odd, your dentist can truly help you with your condition. Here is what you need to know:

Why Is Treating Sleep Apnea Important?

Sleep apnea does not just mean that you snore loudly when you are asleep. It is a serious medical problem that can lead to other serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and stroke. In addition, if you have sleep apnea you are not getting proper sleep to help you function during your waking hours which can lead to frustration, stress, and anxiety.

How Does Your Dentist Help?

Sleep apnea happens partially because of your mouth and tongue shape. Because of this, when you sleep, your tongue can slip back into your throat and block your ability to breathe, thereby causing you to snore. Your dentist can construct a device for your mouth to help keep your tongue in the proper position. The device fits around your tongue and is customized to fit your mouth. It has hinges that help your mouth and tongue remain in the correct position. The device can be adjusted as well if your mouth changes shape over time.

How Do You Get a Sleep Apnea Device From the Dentist?

If you want to pursue an oral sleep apnea device from your dentist, you need to call for a consultation. At this time, the dentist will thoroughly check your teeth and gums along with the current alignment of your jaw. For the sleep apnea device to work, you need to have good oral health. If your mouth needs dental attention, the dentist will likely want to treat those issues first. Once your dentist determines that you are a good candidate for a sleep apnea device, you will discuss the type of device you need and if it will work with your current condition. Your medical history will also come into play as your dentist decides if you are a good candidate.

Sleep apnea must be treated to ensure that you remain in good health. If your condition is severe, see your doctor right away. In addition to seeing the dentist, there are some additional things your doctor may want you to do to help treat your sleep apnea.

For more information on sleep apnea, contact a sleep center, such as TMJ & Sleep Center.