Many people don’t realize that dentists are qualified to screen for sleep apnea, a serious condition that can result in a life or death situation. Sleep apnea is a situation where a patient stops breathing while they are asleep, typically because the jaw is misaligned or something slips and blocks the airway so oxygen can no longer reach the lungs. Individuals often wake up when they stop breathing, but many don’t. When this happens, death can occur from suffocation, meaning sleep apnea treatment should be a serious consideration and priority for sleep apnea sufferers. Visit us today if you are looking for sleep apnea treatment near you.
Dental sleep medicine is a field that covers the treatment of sleep apnea. The focus of the field is to use special appliances while a patient is sleeping to help keep the airway open and unrestricted. Individuals who are not receiving satisfactory results from traditional CPAP therapy can pursue this avenue of assistance.
Here at Digital Smiles, our dentists are educated in this field and can help you or a loved one through the creation of a customized appliance that can be worn while sleeping. To get a customized appliance, it’s important to make an appointment so the dentist can perform a visual and tactile exam of the mouth, airway, and the joint of the jaw to screen for sleep apnea. Our dentists will then refer you to a sleep specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
If sleep apnea is diagnosed by the sleep specialist, the dentist will take x-rays and make impressions of the teeth and jaws to get the information necessary for the creation of the appliance. These sleeping appliances fit like a sports mouthguard and are actually quite comfortable. Once it is ready, all the patient needs to do is wear it regularly when sleeping to help stop the airway from being blocked.
Sleep apnea can be a terrifying condition for its sufferers, who need to worry about not breathing when they fall asleep. It can also lead to sleep deprivation, mental exhaustion, disorientation, and even weight gain since the individual is not getting the right amount of rest. If you have sleep apnea and would like a potential solution, call us today at Digital Smiles and make an appointment. We serve patients in Torrance, Yorba Linda, Long Beach and Palos Verdes in California.