• Treating Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances

    Sleep apnea is a serious, though common, sleep disorder that causes a person’s breathing to be interrupted numerous times throughout the night, which means that the brain and other parts of the body may not be receiving the oxygen that they need. Many dentists provide dental solutions for sleep apnea and if you’re having trouble with disrupted sleep and snoring, it may be time to schedule an appointment.sleep apnea

    Can Oral Appliances Really Treat my Sleep Apnea?

    Well, it depends what type of sleep apnea you have. There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is much more common and is caused by the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapsing and blocking the airway. Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, is caused by the brain failing to send signals to the body to breathe.

    While obstructive sleep apnea can be treated using oral appliances, central sleep apnea is less likely to be treated with these devices since the issue is rooted in brain malfunction rather than a physical malfunction causing the airway to be blocked.

    Oral Appliances to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    One of the first lines of treatment for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea is the use of oral appliances. Though it is less common to treat severe sleep apnea with oral appliances, some patients may find that the CPAP machine, commonly prescribed for this issue, is intolerable and may be prescribed an oral appliance in place of, or in combination with, the CPAP machine.

    There are over 80 different FDA approved oral appliances to treat obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. These appliances fit much like a mouth guard for sports and realign the lower jaw and tongue to keep the airway open and prevent the muscles in the upper airway and the tongue from collapsing.

    Dental Solutions to Treat Sleep Apnea in Gainesville, GA

    The team of dentists and oral hygienists at Hawkins Family Dental are happy to help you with any needs you may have in getting an oral appliance for sleep apnea. We specialize in oral care treatments and our warm, friendly staff in Gainesville, GA will be happy to help fit you for the right sleep apnea appliance to fit your needs.

    Image by Rachel Tayse

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