4 Questions to Ask Your Dentist Who Treats Sleep Apnea
Many Dentists Can Treat Sleep Apnea With Dental Sleep Medicine, Like Ours Here at Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders. If You Need a Dentist Who Treats Sleep Apnea Near You, Then Reach Out to One of Our Many Locations.
Sleep apnea is potentially quite serious and should be treated properly. For many patients, some of the traditional treatment methods just don’t work or accommodate their lifestyles, but when these patients turn to dentists who treat sleep apnea, they find an alternative that works for many of them. Turn to us here at Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders and our dentists will show you an effective alternative sleep apnea treatment.
What is sleep apnea, exactly?
When patients with sleep apnea are sleeping, their breathing stops and starts repeatedly. Some patients don’t recognize that it’s happening to them so their sleep partner will let them know about it or tell them about loud snoring. Other patients will eventually recognize the signs and symptoms themselves, such as waking up feeling like they’re gasping or choking, or getting up after a good sleep feeling very tired. Some of the other symptoms can include restless sleep, insomnia, constant awakenings, headaches, mood changes, and a lowered sex drive.
It’s common for patients to experience a kind of sleep apnea called obstructive sleep apnea which occurs when the muscles in the throat relax and/or collapse, blocking airflow and breathing. It’s also possible for patients to get central sleep apnea which occurs when the brain doesn’t send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Complex sleep apnea syndrome is another type of sleep apnea that occurs when obstructive sleep apnea happens along with central sleep apnea. Because obstructive sleep apnea is most common, many professionals focus on treating it, primarily.
What does a sleep apnea dentist do?
This kind of dentist is a provider of dental sleep medicine, a branch of medicine that uses knowledge of the teeth, jaw, and mouth to treat sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea. With obstructive sleep apnea, the throat muscles, tongue, or even the jaw can cause obstruction, and a dentist who treats sleep apnea will be able to tell precisely what the problem is. The dentist will also be able to provide an effective solution.
Is there an alternative to CPAP?
Yes, there is. The particular kind of treatment a sleep apnea dentist will provide is oral appliance therapy. Many other professionals will suggest CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy, and while this can work for many patients, it doesn’t work for many others, and it doesn’t address particular issues with the jaw, throat muscles, and tongue. Also, the CPAP machine is bulky and uncomfortable for many patients.
The alternative is oral appliance therapy which uses a simple oral appliance to help the patient’s jaw, tongue, and airway relax and rest in their natural positions. This can reduce the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea very significantly and almost entirely, and the appliance is very easy and comfortable to use. Oral appliance therapy is approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and it’s the treatment we provide here at Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders.
Do you have a dentist who treats sleep apnea near me?
Our clinic has multiple locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque NM, Brewster NY, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI, where you’ll be able to find a sleep apnea dentist. To view our locations and to book a consultation with one of our professionals, please see our Appointments page or call us. When you come in for your appointment, we’ll tell you more about how we can treat your sleep apnea and help you get a better night’s sleep.