Airway Dentistry for Sleep Apnea: Brite White Dental

Airway Dentistry for Sleep Apnea: Brite White Dental

April 1, 2023

Do you wake up choking or gasping for air during sleep? If so, you might have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep-breathing disorder that continually interrupts breathing during sleep and can significantly impact your health.

Untreated sleep apnea can cause sleep deprivation and weaken your immune system. It also increases the risk of serious health issues like depression, cardiovascular diseases, stress, high blood pressure, and work-related or car accidents. Fortunately, airway dentistry can help get your sleep routine back in check and help you enjoy a restful and quality sleep.

Signs of Sleep Apnea or Sleep-Disordered Breathing

Signs that you have breathing disorders during sleep include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up choking or gasping for air during sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
  • Awakening with a dry mouth, sore throat, or headaches
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Reported episodes of breathing stops during sleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Irritability and depression
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)

Schedule a consultation with our airway dentist near you if you or a family member are experiencing these symptoms. Receiving prompt treatment can help prevent the need for more serious treatment in the future.

What to Expect from Airway Dentistry

The specific treatment you receive from an airway dentist will depend on your individual needs and the severity of your sleep-disordered breathing. However, here are some general things you can expect from airway dentistry treatment:

  • Comprehensive Evaluation: Your airway dentist will perform a comprehensive evaluation, including a detailed medical and dental history, a physical exam, and may conduct a sleep study to diagnose the extent of your sleep-disordered breathing.
  • Customized Treatment Plan: Based on your evaluation, your airway dentist will create a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs. This may include oral appliance therapy, lifestyle changes, and other treatments such as orthodontic treatment or surgery.
  • Oral Appliance Therapy: If your airway dentist recommends oral appliance therapy, you will be fitted with a custom-made device that is designed to hold your jaw in a forward position, which helps to keep your airway open during sleep. You may need to wear the device every night.
  • Follow-Up Appointments: After you start treatment, you will have follow-up appointments with your airway dentist to ensure that your device is working properly and to make any necessary adjustments.

Benefits of Airway Dentistry

Some of the benefits of getting treatment for sleep apnea and airway problems include:

  • Better and quality sleep
  • Lower of risk cardiovascular diseases
  • Better management of diabetes
  • Reduced risk of oral cancer
  • Lower risk of mortality
  • Improved mood and mental health

Possible Treatments for Airway Disorders

Fortunately, various medical treatments or approaches for sleep apnea and airway problems exist. Possible treatments include:

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy: CPAP is a common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a common type of airway disorder. A CPAP machine delivers a steady stream of air through a mask that you wear over your nose and/or mouth, which helps to keep your airway open during sleep.
  • Oral Appliance Therapy: This is another treatment option for OSA. Oral appliances are custom-made devices that fit in your mouth, similar to a mouthguard or retainer, and are designed to hold your jaw in a forward position, which helps to keep your airway open during sleep.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be necessary in cases where the airway is physically obstructed, such as in cases of a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or nasal polyps.
  • LightScalpel Treatment: Non-ablative collagen remodeling of the soft palate with the LightScalpel laser can help with sleep apnea by reducing the amount of tissue in the soft palate, which can decrease the likelihood of airway obstruction during sleep.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed can also help to improve airway disorders.
  • Positional Therapy: Some people with airway disorders find that their symptoms are worse when they sleep on their back. In these cases, positional therapy, such as sleeping on your side or using a special pillow or device to keep you on your side during sleep, may be helpful.
  • Combination Therapy: Sometimes a combination of treatments may be necessary to effectively treat airway disorders. For example, some people may benefit from a combination of CPAP therapy and oral appliance therapy.

It’s important to work with a healthcare professional, such as an airway dentist near you, to determine the best treatment options for your specific needs.

Are You Interested in Airway Dentistry Near Cadillac, MI?

Do you need more information about airway problems and treatments? Dr. Jennifer White and her team at Brite White Dental will be able tohelp you get a better night’s sleep if you’re suffering from sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing.

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