How An Oral Appliance Can Help With Sleep Apnea
Like most people, you may think that your dentist only deals with repairing cavities, teeth cleanings, and other common dental issues. However, most dentists also specialize in other conditions more related to the jaw and neck than the teeth themselves. Sleep apnea, which can be potentially life-threatening, can be a scary diagnosis to receive. Luckily, your dentist can help you manage your sleep apnea with non-invasive dental appliances. Learn more about sleep apnea with Dr. Michael Murphy, Dr. Alexandra Welzel, and Dr. Stephen Levy at Baltimore Uptown Dentist in Baltimore, MD.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition affecting a patient’s breathing while they sleep. Though breathing is normal during awake hours, sleep apnea causes apneas, or pauses in breathing, during sleeping hours. The apneas occur due to one of three types of sleep apnea: obtrusive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), or a mixture of both, called mixed sleep apnea. OSA the more common version of this condition and occurs when an obtrusion blocks the airway. CSA occurs when the brain and lungs fail to communicate, causing apneas. Mixed sleep apnea occurs when a patient suffers from both OSA and CSA.
How can my dentist help with my sleep apnea?
While the most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine worn while sleeping, it is not the only treatment. In more mild cases, your dentist may suggest a more conservative treatment called a dental appliance. Worn while sleeping, the appliance fits into the mouth and pulls the bottom jaw forward, eliminating the obstruction of the airway and allowing the patient to breathe normally.
Sleep Apnea Treatments in Baltimore, MD
Dental appliances come in all shapes and sizes. Your dentist is your best source of information for which style appliance will best work for your needs. If left untreated, sleep apnea can be a potentially life-threatening condition. If you notice that you snore excessively, wake during the night gasping or choking, suffer from insomnia, or awake feeling like you barely got any sleep at all, you should ask your dentist about sleep apnea and its treatments.
For more information on sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Murphy, Dr. Welzel, and Dr. Levy at Baltimore Uptown Dentist in Baltimore, MD. Call (410) 235-1233 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!