Smith Dental

Can a Dentist Really Treat My Sleep Apnea?

June 9, 2014
Posted By: Smith Dental
Sleep Apnea | Hillsboro OR Dentist

Many people suffer from sleep apnea and aren't even aware of it. If you or your loved ones have complaints such as snoring, tiredness, morning headaches, or difficulty sleeping through the night, you may have sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes the sufferer to stop breathing briefly during sleep. This can happen dozens of times per night, leading to poor concentration, exhaustion, snoring, headaches, and other detrimental side effects. If left untreated, it can also contribute to other serious health problems such as hypertension, heart disease, and strokes.

If you believe you may have sleep apnea, please consult your physician. The only way to diagnose sleep apnea is through an overnight sleep study at an accredited sleep disorder clinic where your sleeping patterns and oxygen levels can be monitored throughout the night.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine.  This machine requires you to wear a mask during sleep. Many patients find their sleep apnea is well-controlled through use of a CPAP machine; however, there are others who cannot tolerate this treatment, either because of the noise of the machine or the discomfort of wearing the mask. Nearly half of apnea sufferers find the CPAP machine doesn't work well for them.

If you have sleep apnea and a CPAP machine isn't a good solution for you, we may be able to help! Hillsboro dentist Dr. Smith offers an oral appliance, or mouth guard, as an alternative to CPAP treatment for sleep apnea and snoring.

How Does a Mouth Guard Help My Apnea?

Oral appliances are useful in treating sleep apnea and other causes of snoring. The custom-fitted mouth guard works by holding your lower jaw slightly forward. This keeps your airway open while you sleep, reducing both snoring and apnea occurrences.

Our Hillsboro dental office offers a variety of apnea appliances so we can find the one that works for you and your situation. These appliances can also reduce snoring caused by other conditions, helping you and your partner get a better night's sleep. The mouth guards are comfortable and effective and also provide an excellent option for the sleep apnea patient who travels frequently. Lugging even a portable CPAP machine with you can become tedious, but a mouth guard can be easily tucked away in an overnight bag.

Let Us Help You Breathe Easy at Night

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and have found the CPAP machine doesn't work for you, call our office today and find out if a sleep apnea oral appliance is the right solution for you!

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