How Dentistry Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea

How Dentistry Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea

At first, sleep apnea may seem like nothing more than a nuisance that causes disruptive snoring, but the reality is that sleep apnea can lead to serious complications if not treated.

Sleep apnea increases your risk of hypertension and heart attacks, decreases work performance due to daytime sleepiness, and causes headaches. Not to mention, waking up feeling unrefreshed day in and day out is downright miserable.

Dr. David Blaustein and our team here at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics understand the complications associated with untreated sleep apnea. That’s why we offer sleep apnea treatment in our New York City office. 

But if you’re unfamiliar with sleep apnea treatment, you might wonder how dentistry can help. Read on to uncover the answer.

Which type of sleep apnea do you have? 

There are three types of sleep apnea: 

  1. Central
  2. Obstructive
  3. Complex 

Determining which type you have is key to understanding how dentistry can help you. 

Dental treatments such as oral appliance therapy are intended to treat obstructive sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea is a sleep disorder, and it happens when your airway is temporarily obstructed, or blocked. 

When the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much, it can obstruct how much air flows through your throat, which is why your symptoms tend to be worse when lying flat on your back.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a common sleep apnea treatment and can help all types of sleep apnea. This machine features a mask and a tube that work together to deliver oxygenated air while you sleep. 

While effective, CPAP machines have several downsides, including the noise factor and required upkeep. It’s also hard to travel with a CPAP machine.

How dentistry can help with sleep apnea

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, a CPAP machine isn’t your only option. Oral appliance therapy can help treat sleep apnea without the masks, tubes, and fuss of CPAP machines. 

An oral appliance is similar to a night guard. Some people compare it to the look of clear orthodontic aligners. The custom piece gently repositions your jaw and tongue while you sleep and holds them in a position that promotes good airflow. 

Without the nightly interruptions of gasping or snoring, your oral appliance enables you to get a more restful night of sleep. The devices are comfortable, easy to clean, and easy to wear. And the best part is that studies show that oral devices are safe and effective in treating sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea can also cause jaw pain if you clench your jaw (bruxism) while you sleep. We can diagnose and treat bruxism too. Not only do oral appliances help treat sleep apnea, but they can also help treat sleep apnea-related bruxism. 

While it’s possible to have bruxism without sleep apnea, many people with sleep apnea have bruxism as well. When you seek dental care for sleep apnea, we can also review your bruxism symptoms. 

Bruxism can lead to jaw pain and headaches, and left untreated it can even contribute to broken or chipped teeth. Thankfully, studies show that treating sleep apnea reduces the symptoms of sleep apnea as well as nighttime bruxism. 

And if you’ve already developed a chip from bruxism? Don’t worry. We can repair your tooth to prevent further damage.

If sleep apnea is costing you needed rest, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can help you get the good night’s sleep you deserve. You can reach our Manhattan office at 917-633-7312 or request your appointment online.

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