How Airway Dentistry Can Help in Sleep Apnea

How Airway Dentistry Can Help in Sleep Apnea

October 1, 2022

Have you ever called a friend or family member annoying for snoring loudly at night? Snoring can be an annoying habit, but did you know that loud snoring can be an indicator of an underlying sleep disorder?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder affecting the respiratory system when you sleep. Patients with sleep apnea stop breathing for several seconds or minutes when sleeping at night. These episodes of stopped breathing can be repetitive throughout the night, some more severe than others. Technically, the longer one goes without breathing, the more complex and complicated their sleep apnea is. Seeking treatment for sleep apnea is paramount to avoid further health complications.

What Is Airway Dentistry?

Airway dentistry is a dental specialty concerned with the mouth’s structure and its impacts on your breathing. Dentists have firmly determined a strong link between dental health and respiratory function, leading to problems that affect more than just your oral health.

Airway dentistry near you focuses on mouth breathing, which is evident when you sleep at night. Mouth breathing has a lot to do with the structure of the bite, palate and the position of your tongue, affecting oral function and breathing.

How Do You Know You Need Airway Dentistry?

The signs of sleep apnea may not be that obvious to you if you are not looking for them. Reaching out to an airway dentist in Traverse City can help determine if you are experiencing sleep apnea.  Some common signs of sleep-disordered breathing are:

  1. Loud snoring at night
  2. Repeatedly gasping for air at night
  3. Sore throat and hoarse voice
  4. Morning headaches
  5. Pronounced fatigue and frequent mood changes
  6. Excessive sleepiness during daytime

How Can Airway Dentistry Benefit You?

An airway dentist can identify early signs of sleep apnea. If not, (s)he can detect them during your general dental exam. An airway dentist can also evaluate your entire oral health, including detection of any signs of sleep-disordered breathing.

If you have noticed any tell-tale signs of sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to contact Brite White Dental. Our dental team will offer a comprehensive and personalized approach to airway dentistry to alleviate some of your sleep apnea symptoms and optimize your oral health.

What Does Treatment Consist Of?

Different systems and approaches can help resolve sleep apnea. It depends on the severity and nature of your condition. Treatment generally consists of protocols that can help strengthen the oral muscles, targeting the lips, tongue, jaw, dental arches, and airways.

One of the noninvasive approaches for treating sleep apnea in airway dentistry is using an oral appliance. The appliance is specially made for night usage, keeping your airway open to avoid the collapse of your throat muscles. The dental appliance significantly betters your breathing at night, reducing the frequent episodes of not breathing.

A different type of appliance can target the bones in your mouth to encourage optimal orthopedic development. Its role is to gradually expand your jaws and dental arches to create ample space in your mouth for all oral features. The device helps comfortably accommodate your tongue by remodeling the facial and oral bones.

Why Should You Seek Treatment for Sleep Apnea?

Although snoring at night may seem harmless to your health, sleep apnea is not. It can become a complex health problem that has dire health effects, some even life-threatening. Your airway dentist will recommend seeking treatment for all stages of sleep apnea because it eventually impacts the general functioning of other body organs in your body. Sleep apnea can cause various health complications, including the following:

  1. Stroke and heart attack
  2. Severe weight gain that leads to obesity
  3. Diabetes
  4. Periodontal disease due to dry mouth syndrome
  5. ADD and ADHD
  6. Stress, anxiety, and depression
  7. Chronic insomnia
  8. Hypertension
  9. Chronic sinus infections
  10. Memory problems like lack of concentration and amnesia
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