Using Dental Appliances to Treat Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common disorder that interrupts a person’s normal sleep patterns. Patients suffer from intermittent pauses in breathing, which forces them to wake up and engage in a shallower level of sleep in order to take a breath. Although patients are usually unaware that this occurs numerous times throughout the night, they awake feeling tired and continue to feel that way throughout the day. The American Sleep Apnea Association (www.sleepapnea.org) estimates that the disorder affects more than 12 million Americans—and many go undiagnosed. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a wide range of potentially serious health problems.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat sleep apnea, and dental appliances are frequently an option. At Grandview Dental Care, we recommend that patients undergo a sleep study to determine the proper diagnosis. Although we don’t conduct sleep studies at our office, there are many sleep clinics located in the Columbus, Ohio, area. If the patient’s physician diagnoses sleep apnea, Dr. Bill Thompson can provide a dental appliance. A dental appliance is a small, plastic device that fits on the teeth. It resembles an orthodontic retainer or an athletic mouth guard and is worn during the night. The appliance is designed to meet the individual needs of the patient.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, let us know if we can help you along the road to recovery. A well-made, well-fitted dental appliance could significantly relieve your sleep apnea symptoms.