For years, sleep apnea was one of the most commonly undiagnosed or misdiagnosed disorders. Today, more patients and doctors are familiar with this disorder and its warning signs, which leads to more accurate diagnosis and better treatment. If you’re concerned you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you may not think of visiting a dentist for treatment. However, for many patients, a simple oral appliance custom crafted by your dentist is exactly what you need to sleep and breathe deeply every night. At Diamond Beach Dental, we offer a wide range of treatments to help our patients lead happier, healthier lives, including treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. If you want to learn more about sleep apnea therapies from our team, give our Wildwood Crest dental office a call today. We’ll be happy to answer questions over the phone and schedule a consultation visit to discuss diagnosis and treatment planning.
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. It occurs when patients cease breathing for ten or more seconds at a time during sleep. Most patients have one or a few apnea events during sleep, but those who are suffering from sleep apnea can have 100s or even 1000s of these breathing events during a single night. There are two forms of sleep apnea – central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea is the rarer form of the disorder and it occurs when patients’ brains fail to trigger their bodies to breathe in and out. This form of sleep apnea needs to be treated immediately working with a team of professionals that may include medical doctors, sleep doctors, neurologists, and others. Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common of the two forms. As its name suggests, it occurs when the throat is physically blocked during sleep. This is the form of sleep apnea that we can treat at Diamond Beach Dental.
The only way to know for sure you have sleep apnea is to visit a dentist or sleep doctor for screening and diagnostic testing. If you notice any of the following warning signs, you may have this disorder, we recommend you call our Wildwood Crest dental office or a local sleep doctor right away:
There are two main treatments for obstructive sleep apnea – continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and oral appliance therapy. CPAP systems use an air stream to open the throat, during sleep reducing the number of apnea incidents. Unfortunately, many patients struggle to adapt to this form of sleep apnea treatment. For patients who find themselves to be CPAP intolerant, those who travel frequently, and those who simply want to explore alternative treatment options, we offer oral appliance therapy. These custom crafted appliances shift the jaw forward, placing pressure on the throat to keep the airway open during sleep. If you have severe obstructive sleep apnea, we may recommend using combined CPAP and oral appliance therapy. By combining the two solutions, patients are able to achieve better results than they could using one or the other.