If you or someone in your home snores, you know how annoying the problem can be. But snoring is often an indicator of a problem known as sleep apnea. Aside from keeping people awake at night, a person with sleep apnea can be at a higher risk for hypertension, heart disease, stroke and depression. It can also lead to daytime drowsiness and an inability to concentrate. While only a sleep doctor or your primary care physician can diagnose sleep apnea, our dentist may be able to help treat it through oral appliance therapy.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the tongue rolling back or the soft tissues of the throat collapsing while you sleep. This blocks the airway, making it difficult for you to breathe. Our dentist can create a mouth guard specifically designed to fit you. This appliance moves your lower jaw slightly forward. With your jaw in this position, your upper throat muscles and soft tissues tighten. This keeps them from vibrating and obstructing your airway, and it helps the tissues in your throat to relax since your tongue is no longer rolling back. Not only can this treatment help you and everyone in your home enjoy a good night’s rest, but it can also help alleviate the problems associated with sleep apnea.
If you have struggled with sleep apnea and would like to learn more about oral appliance therapy, call our office to schedule your consultation.