Have you ever woken up gasping for air or felt excessively tired during the day despite getting a full night’s sleep? You’re not alone.
Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Fortunately, with expert care from our dental sleep medicine specialists, many patients can find relief from the disruptive symptoms of apnea through oral appliance therapy.
We understand that a lack of quality sleep can negatively impact your health and quality of life. Our team is dedicated to evaluating each patient’s individual needs to design customized treatment plans tailored for your body.
At Cornerstone Dentistry, we recognize that sleep apnea is not just a disruption of sleep but a serious health concern with wide-ranging implications. Our dedicated approach to treating sleep apnea involves understanding its dental connections and providing personalized, effective solutions.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
One of the sleep disorders that is characterized by sleep apnea is repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night. These pauses, known as apneas, occur due to the airway becoming blocked (Obstructive Sleep Apnea – OSA) whenever the brain is unable to send signals to the muscles to breathe (Central Sleep Apnea). OSA is the most common type and is often associated with dental and oral health issues.
Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The causes of OSA include:
- Physical Obstructions: Excess tissue in the throat, large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw can physically block the airway.
- Lifestyle Factors: Obesity, smoking, and alcohol use can increase the risk and severity of OSA.
- Other Contributing Factors: Age, gender (more common in males), and genetics also affect the likelihood of developing OSA.
In addition to frequent awakenings, morning headaches, daily weariness, and difficulties concentrating, common symptoms include loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, and many awakenings before bedtime.
Dental and Oral Health Connections
Good oral health is associated with good general health, which is an important one sleep apnea. Certain dental conditions, like a large tongue or small jaw, can contribute to the likelihood of developing OSA. At Cornerstone Dentistry, our team is trained to recognize these oral indicators and can play a vital role in early detection.
Treatment Options at Cornerstone Dentistry
Our treatment approach for sleep apnea includes the following:
- Oral Appliance Therapy: One of the most effective treatments for OSA oral appliance therapy is the term. To maintain an open airway during sleeping, these individualized devices are worn by the patient. Repositioning the jaw or tongue in order to prevent an injury is how they work airway blockages.
- Lifestyle Modifications: Alongside oral appliances, we recommend making adjustments to one’s lifestyle, such as reducing one’s weight, not drinking alcohol in the hours leading up to bedtime, and quitting smoking are all ways to effectively treat sleep apnea.
- Referral to Specialists: In severe cases or when our assessment indicates, we may refer patients to sleep specialists for further evaluation and treatments like CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.
A Comprehensive Approach to Care
At Cornerstone Dentistry, we believe in a comprehensive approach to treating sleep apnea. We understand that each patient’s situation and every person’s demands are different, and we modify our treatments accordingly.
During your consultation, we assess not just your teeth and gums but also your jaw alignment, facial structure, and other factors that could contribute to sleep apnea.
Prevention and Patient Education
Prevention and education are critical components of our approach. We stress the significance of scheduling routine dental exams, as they allow us to monitor any changes that might indicate the development or progression of sleep apnea. We also educate patients on the importance of sleep health and the role oral health plays in it.
Our Commitment to Your Health
Cornerstone Dentistry is dedicated to treating your sleep apnea from head to toe, which means getting to the bottom of what’s causing it. The link between dental health and general wellness is something we are familiar with and are dedicated to offering the most effective and comfortable treatments. Our team ensures you are well-informed, comfortable, and supported throughout your treatment journey.
Sleep apnea is a condition that requires attention and proper management. At Cornerstone Dentistry, we are equipped to identify and treat the oral health aspects of sleep apnea.
Experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea? If so, or have concerns about your sleep well-being, we recommend that you arrange for a consultation. If you want better sleep, we can work on it together overall health, and quality of life.