Obstructive sleep apnea is a common ailment that causes one or several breathing blockages or interruptions while you are sleeping. Known as obstructive sleep apnea, it causes the muscles supporting the soft tissues in your throat, such as your soft palate and tongue, to relax temporarily. When these muscles relax, your airway is closed or narrowed down, and breathing is cut off for momentarily. If you suffer from this ailment, you can get treatment from a sleep apnea dentist in Oakville.
Apnea is officially defined as the cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or more while sleeping, and this happens hundreds of times per night, for a minute or longer. Sleep apnea impacts approximately 25 million Americans across a range of ages. Given that a major component of sleep apnea is the mouth, more research is being conducted into sleep apnea dentistry.
Keep reading to learn more about obstructive sleep apnea and how it relates to dentistry!
Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is diagnosed using a Polysomnogram, which is an overnight sleep study, and patient medical history. For regular patients, there are two treatments:
CPAP treatment uses pressurized air from a ventilator delivered through the mask, covering the nose, thus opening the airway.
Oral appliances, like sports mouth guards or orthodontic retainers, are also used to treat sleep apnea. OAT comprises selecting the correct device, designing, fitting it to the patient’s mouth, and having the patient wear it during sleep. The goal is to maintain an unobstructed and open airway. There are several ways these devices work:
- Increasing the tongue’s muscle tone.
- Repositioning the lower jaw, soft palate, uvula, and tongue.
- Stabilizing the tongue and lower jaw.
The FDA currently has approved around 40 appliances for sleep apnea treatment. In many instances, a sleep apnea dentist may use these devices with other means or treatment like a CPAP, weight management, general health improvement, or surgery. Dentists with OAT specialization training are familiar with various appliance designs and can determine which is the best option for you.
If you are looking for a sleep apnea
dentist in Oakville, call Sherwood Dental at 844-951-8855 to learn more or book an appointment