How Snoring And Dentistry Are Connected

| August 27, 2013

Sleep apnea is more than annoying; it’s dangerous.  The disorder can cause patients to pause breathing as many as thirty times an hour throughout the course of a night’s sleep.  If you’ve been diagnosed, you’re among the 18 million Americans with sleep apnea.  Left untreated, the condition can lead to an increased risk of irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

But, what does your condition have to do with your dentist?  We are glad that you asked!  The majority of patients who suffer from sleep apnea require treatment methods that are less invasive than surgery or cumbersome breathing machines. Working with your sleep specialist, your dentist can create a custom sleep apnea mouth appliance that opens your airway and allows you to breathe normally while you sleep.

For patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, custom mouth appliances can be an attractive alternative to surgery or bulky masks that deliver a stream of compressed air through plastic tubing connected to a nasal pillow, nose mask, or full-face mask. In fact, some experts estimate that only 40 percent of patients actually wear their masks because they can make sleeping so uncomfortable.

Dentists offer a number of different brands and options when it comes to custom mouth appliances, including some that are small enough to allow patients’ lips to close or models that can be adjusted at home for the best results from night to night. What’s more, mouth appliances are designed to be durable, custom fit and handy for travel.

Custom mouth appliances can be a comfortable and convenient treatment option for many patients. So if you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, ask your sleep specialist and dentist whether a custom mouth appliance could work for you, giving you and those around you the sound night sleep you deserve.  In many instances, your dentist might just be your best friend for helping you sleep soundly (and soundlessly) at night!