Have you ever heard someone talking about sleep apnea? It sounds a little odd. They say you don't breathe as much at night. So, what's the big deal? The big deal is it is much more than not breathing as much at night. Some people have severe enough sleep apnea that they actually stop breathing for long periods of time.
If severe sleep apnea goes untreated, the person suffering from it could die. If you think that either you or a loved one may have sleep apnea, you need to go in and see both your dentist and your doctor.
Why Go See Your Dentist?Your dentist is a very valuable resource for those suffering from sleep apnea. Not only can they help with the evaluation of whether or not you have the ailment, but they also have a solution that can help.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, then you need to make an appointment with your dentist to get a custom mouth guard. These mouth guards are able to shift around how your jaw sits while you sleep. It pulls your jaw forward, allowing your airway to stay more open. This helps you get more oxygen while you sleep, and in some circumstances, can even stop the apnea all together.
Your doctor needs to diagnose the apnea, but your dentist is who you want to speak with about the first options for treatment. Sleeping on your side, propped up with pillows, or losing weight can all help you avoid apnea. However, not everyone is able to breathe better with those options.
The next thing to try is the mouth guard. If it helps, you can stop seeking further treatment. If it doesn't, then you keep using the mouth guard until told not to, while seeking alternative treatment options.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (503) 420-7600 today.