If you have sleep apnea, it might at first seem like more of a nuisance for your partner than for you, especially if your primary symptom is snoring. Is it a good idea to find a solution that merely minimizes the effects on your sleeping partner — such as noise-canceling earbuds to mask the sound…
When to Visit a Dentist for Sleep Apnea
Seeking treatment for sleep apnea is important for your general health. Your general dentist can detect signs of this sleep disorder during a comprehensive dental exam. The sleep doctor can work with your dentist to correct the problem. Here are the details about when to see a dentist for sleep apnea.
What sleep apnea does
This sleep disorder makes a person stop and start breathing many times during nighttime sleep. This lasts for many seconds. An obstructed airway triggers this condition. Because the body stops breathing, the brain resets it. This wakes up the individual many times a night, changing many aspects of one’s health. Knowing when to see the dentist for sleep apnea can help treat this disorder.
When the individual feels tired all the time
Poor breathing when one sleeps at night can result in frequent wakefulness. Inadequate sleep can cause intense fatigue during the day, which is a sign of sleep apnea. These episodes are often constant, preventing the patient to achieve seven to eight hours of restful sleep. The individual then struggles to stay awake and perform daily duties.
When the individual gasps for air each night
Gasping every night tends to wake an individual. There is no opportunity to achieve restful sleep. Either the patient or the bed partner will notice this. Gasping many times at night is a sign that the airway is blocked. Seeing a dentist and a sleep apnea doctor is necessary.
When headaches are constant
Headaches have many causes. Stress and dehydration are two of the common causes of headaches. In some cases, sleep apnea may also contribute to this type of pain. Lack of proper oxygenation is the reason for any type of pain. Experiencing migraines or terrible headaches upon waking in the morning is a sign that not enough oxygen is reaching the brain. A general dentist can provide a custom sleep device to help treat headaches from sleep apnea.
When there is constant snoring
Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea as well. This is an annoying symptom that can bother other people in the room. It can also be a sign of an ongoing health problem. Snoring can result from an enlarged tissue or airway congestion. A narrow airway may also cause snoring. If this happens every night, the individual must see a sleep apnea dentist as soon as possible.
Treatment options for sleep apnea
Knowing the causes of sleep apnea can help treat and even prevent this sleep disorder. Seeking the help of a sleep doctor can target the main factor that contributes to the symptoms. A dentist can create custom oral devices that can improve one’s breathing while sleeping. Here are the possible treatments that an individual can consider:
Oral appliance therapy uses a removable custom-fit device that is much like a retainer or mouthguard. There are mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and tongue repositioning devices. MADs keep the mouth open by forcing the lower jaw to be in a more forward position. These devices are easy to put on and use. Tongue repositioning devices prevent the tongue from dropping into the back of the throat. It helps provide a clear passage for air. The general dentist can fit the right oral appliance during one dental visit. These custom-fit oral devices can help sleep apnea patients better. There are over-the-counter oral appliances that promise to help with this problem, but custom-fit devices offer better results.
- CPAP machines can treat moderate to severe sleep apnea. The treatment will need continuous positive airway pressure equipment. A mask will cover the mouth and nose. A cannula will connect it to a breathing machine.
- Minor surgery may be necessary if oral appliances, CPAP machines, and even lifestyle changes cannot help one’s sleep apnea. This procedure can treat nasal congestion. It can also improve apnea from a deviated septum or allergies.
Benefits of seeing a dentist for sleep apnea
Seeing a dentist every six months is the standard number of dental visits a year. This healthy routine can help detect dental problems. It can even determine if the patient has sleep apnea. Here are the benefits of going to a dentist for sleep apnea:
- It enhances alertness during the day. An individual can have better focus, memory, and energy when seeing a dentist for this sleep disorder. Finishing more tasks is possible after treatment.
- It improves sleep quality. This sleep problem tends to deprive an individual of quality sleep. Getting proper treatment from a dentist and sleep doctor can bring back restful nighttime sleep.
- It can lower the risk of diseases and boost general health. Studies show that sleep apnea is associated with ailments such as insulin resistance. A person can avoid this by visiting the dentist for regular checkups. Having the right treatment can help an individual regain the energy to perform different activities that can improve one’s health.
Knowing when to visit your dentist for sleep apnea can change your life
Sleep apnea can cause many health problems. It can result in many issues such as fatigue. That is why it is necessary to seek help from a sleep doctor and your dentist. Working with these health providers can help improve your general health.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea in Houston, TX.
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