If you need sleep apnea treatment in Arlington Heights, do you know who to call? It might surprise you to hear your dentist can treat the disorder. They hold a commonplace in sleep apnea therapy because many patients are choosing an oral appliance as an alternative to a CPAP machine. Only a dentist can provide the custom-fit appliance you need to keep your upper airway open.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, at least 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. The disorder causes you to stop breathing frequently throughout the night because of an obstruction in the airway. As your muscles relax, it causes the soft tissues in the back of the mouth and throat to collapse. This can result in a blockage in the airway that obstructs your breathing.
For decades, patients have used a CPAP machine to treat their sleep apnea. The machine delivers a gentle stream of air pressure through a mask worn over the nose to keep the airway open to avoid pauses in breathing.
Although it’s effective, it can be bothersome, so it often has a low compliance rate. In fact, less than 50% of people continue their treatment long-term. If you can’t tolerate a CPAP, there is another option. Your dentist can detect the disorder and provide you with a comfortable solution.
How Can My Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?
Dentists play an influential role in the diagnosis of sleep apnea because they can notice signs of the condition before you do, like worn enamel. Many patients with the disorder have a habit of grinding their teeth, which will wear down your enamel and weaken your teeth. Your dentist can spot the damage, which can show there’s a potential underlying issue, like sleep apnea.
You’ll need to undergo a sleep study to confirm obstructive sleep apnea. Your dentist will use the results of the study to create a personalized treatment plan. An oral appliance is created using the latest technologies to reposition your lower jaw forward. This prevents your soft tissues from collapsing to keep your airway open to stop interruptions in breathing. As a convenient and flexible alternative, at least 80% of patients stick with their treatment for lasting relief from their symptoms.
Oral appliance therapy is proven effective for mild-to-moderate forms of obstructive sleep apnea; however, some patients may need to continue using their CPAP machine.
Breathe Better Tonight
If you’re not getting the rest you need, it might be time to visit your dentist. They offer the individualized oral appliances patients need to stop snoring and breathe better.
About Dr. Brian Zulawinski
Dr. Zulawinski earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. He regularly completes extensive continuing education each year to provide a variety of specialty services, like oral appliance therapy. If you have sleep apnea, contact our office today to discover the latest options to treat sleep apnea. We’ll improve your general health and your quality of life using an oral appliance.