The Health Benefits of Using a Sleep Apnea Dentist

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The Health Benefits of Using a Sleep Apnea Dentist

How a Sleep Apnea Dentist can Help You Sleep

How a Sleep Apnea Dentist can Help You Sleep

If you are one of the millions of people around the world who suffer from sleep apnea, then you are probably already familiar with at least a few of the various treatment options available for your condition. Chances are, you might also have heard that many people suffering from sleep apnea are able to find relief through the services of a sleep apnea dentist. Maybe you’ve already been evaluated by a dentist specializing in sleep medicine or maybe you’ve been thinking about contacting one. It could be, as will be the case for many people, you’ve never even heard of a sleep apnea dentist and would like to learn more. This article explains exactly what a sleep apnea dentist does and how finding one in your area may benefit you.

How Does Sleep Apnea Effect My Health?

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to temporarily stop breathing during sleep. These episodes last anywhere from a few seconds to over a minute. Depending on the severity of the disease they may occur a couple of times per night to well over one hundred. Serious side effects of sleep apnea include:

  • weight gain
  • increased likelihood of cardiac arrest
  • higher stress hormones
  • hypertension
  • increased agitation and anxiety
  • as well as difficulty focusing
  • and a host of other debilitating symptoms

Each one of these issues on their own can cause serious health concerns but bundled together can make for a grueling physical and mental health ordeal for the patient who does not seek appropriate treatment. Fortunately, there are many options available today, including those offered by a sleep apnea dentist.

What Treatment Options Will a Sleep Apnea Dentist Offer?

A sleep apnea dentist will perform a complete evaluation and determine the most appropriate level of treatment to meet your needs. Generally, this will come in the form of some type of oral appliance therapy. These devices are similar to mouthguards worn by athletes and are designed to be worn during sleep. They work by supporting the jaw in a forward position in order to keep the airway open. Currently, there are over one hundred varieties of these oral appliances. Sleep apnea dentists with specialized training in sleep medicine design the appliances.

For many years, one of the most widely used methods of treatment for sleep apnea has been the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. While this method works well for many people, there are some who cannot tolerate its use, requiring them to seek alternate treatments. Still others lack the funds for CPAP and search for more affordable options. Oral appliance therapy is swiftly becoming a common alternative for many of those who suffer from sleep apnea.

Benefits of Using Oral Appliance Therapy

If a sleep apnea dentist recommends oral appliance therapy, these are just a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy:

  1. As mentioned previously, there are over one hundred styles of these oral devices currently in existence. That gives your sleep apnea dentist plenty of options to choose from to meet your individual needs. In addition, once you and your dentist choose an appropriate, your dentist will custom fit the device to optimize utility and comfort.
  2. Oral devices are one of the most affordable of the available treatment options for sleep apnea. In addition to the lower start-up costs, there are also no expensive replacement parts that require frequent purchasing, such as the masks, head gear, and tubing of the CPAP device.
  3. An oral appliance prescribed by your sleep apnea dentist is much more portable than many of the other alternatives. It also allows for complete freedom of movement. Users are uninhibited by a maze of cords and hoses that comprise some of the other options, such as CPAP.
  4. Another major advantage is that one can still effectively use oral appliances even in times of nasal congestion resulting from a cold or flu. Since CPAP therapy hinges on pressurized air being blown through the nose from a tube, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to use when you are congested.
  5. Unlike a CPAP machine, there is no associated noise with an oral appliance. Even those who tolerate CPAP treatment, often complain about the noise of the machine making it difficult to fall asleep. Some give up CPAP treatment altogether for this reason. With an oral device, there is no such issue.

Is A Sleep Apnea Dentist the Right Choice for Me?

A sleep apnea dentist can be a valuable partner in your journey with sleep apnea. Whether you are new to the disease and are currently exploring your options, or whether you have tried CPAP and are finding it difficult to tolerate, it’s worth checking to see if oral appliance therapy might work for you. Research shows it to be a highly effective treatment choice. Even if CPAP does work well for you, having a backup device to use if your machine breaks down or the power in your home suddenly goes out for any reason is a good idea.

Keep in mind, if you don’t have a diagnosis, you’ll need to see your physician for a sleep apnea evaluation. More than likely, this will involve a sleep study from a board-certified sleep specialist. They will determine if you do, indeed, have sleep apnea. They’ll also investigate if it is due to an obstructed airway or if it originates in the nerves and brain. Once this is determined, your physician will make treatment recommendations, and can provide a referral to a certified sleep apnea dentist.

To learn more about seeing a sleep apnea dentist to treat your condition, contact Mark Levy DDS at (614) 777-7350. Our experienced staff can provide a full evaluation with the information you’ll need to make the best decision for you.

Call Mark Levy DDS today at (614)777-7350 to learn more about treating your sleep apnea with oral appliances.