Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Oral Appliances for Patients with Sleeping Disorders

Do you snore? Does the person sleeping next to you stop breathing or gasp in his or her sleep? Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea or chronic snoring should never go overlooked. In fact, they could be a warning sign that something far more serious is about to happen, such as a heart attach or stroke.

Fortunately, Salmon Dental Center has a non-invasive solution that can help you breathe easier without a bulky CPAP machine.

What do Oral Appliances Have to Do with Snoring?

Depending on the type of sleep disorder that you’re struggling with, the oxygen blockage may be due to a collapse of the jaw and soft tissues at the back of your throat. When you sleep, the muscles and tissues close against one another, restricting the airflow. This can lead to snoring or sleep apnea.

For obstructive types of sleep apnea, it may be more beneficial to “treat” the symptoms by preventing them in the first place. Wearing a customized oral sleep appliance can position your lower jaw in a way that prevents airway blockage, allowing maximum oxygen flow.

Oral sleep appliances are an excellent alternative for individuals who cannot or refuse to wear a CPAP. In fact, these aids have backed scientific research to show their effectiveness, making them cleared by the FDA to treat and manage sleeping disorders.

Not all physicians are familiar with the use of oral sleep appliances to treat sleeping disorders. We are happy to discuss the option with your provider, upon request.

Oral Symptoms of Sleeping Disorders

Did you know that our dentist can spot warning signs of sleep apnea during your dental exam? Common things that we may notice during your checkup include:

  • Worn, flat teeth
  • Broken fillings or other dental work
  • Abfractions (worn/chipped areas) near the necks of teeth
  • Prominent jaw muscles
  • Large neck circumference
  • High blood pressure

Do I Need a Sleep Study?

Sleep medicine is a strictly regulated area of medicine. But, only a licensed dentist like ours can provide a custom oral sleep appliance. We work closely with your medical doctor, physician, or pulmonologist to determine if an oral appliance is appropriate. If it is, we can move forward with making one.

If you have not had a sleep study or been formally diagnosed with a sleeping disorder, we can arrange for you to have a screening performed at home, or with an area specialist. Once that data is interpreted by a sleep physician, we can work with them to determine whether it is appropriate to make an oral appliance.

What’s Involved in the Treatment?

Having an oral appliance made for sleeping disorders is a relatively easy process. After receiving the prescription from your sleep physician, all we need to get started is an impression of your teeth.

After a model of your bite is created, the sleep appliance is customized to fit your unique anatomical features. We’ll adjust it as necessary and show you how to wear it each night. In the beginning, we might ask you to keep a sleep diary and we will adjust the mouthpiece until the best position is achieved.

Other Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

Please let us know if you are exhibiting any of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue, chronic sleepiness
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Other changes in medical history
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain

Each of these conditions are closely related to sleeping disorders, which if undiagnosed can lead to additional strain to your immune and cardiovascular system.

Wearing a custom oral sleep appliance means you can go without noisy, cumbersome machines at your bedside. For more information on sleep dentistry in Salmon, ID call Salmon Dental Center to schedule a consultation.

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