How Your Dentist Can Help You Sleep

Posted on: July 9, 2014

Sleep apnea can be a very serious sleep disorder. About 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with millions more who probably have it and don’t know it. The key to overcoming the symptoms of this condition is detection. Here at Oral Care Dentistry, your Beverly Hills dentist Dr. Aurasteh can help diagnose and treat your sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Most patients who sleep with a partner notice the first and most obvious symptom right away: loud, powerful snoring. It can be so loud that people in other rooms can hear it. The snoring comes from the air we breathe in trying to force its way through an obstructed airway.

Many sleeping partners are able to also detect the next symptom, but if you sleep alone it can be impossible to know: the actual disturbances and interruption in breathing. Apnea actually means the absence of breath. These apneas can occur five to thirty times an hour and last up to a minute. The more serious the apnea, the more serious the sleeping disturbance. It can cause a patient to repeatedly wake up during the night. It can also cause the patient to not get proper sleep throughout the night, even if they never fully wake, leading to daytime sleepiness and exhaustion.

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea

A dentist is often able to detect if a person is suffering from sleep apnea. This can be done during an oral examination. The dentist can examine if a breathing obstruction occurs. After inquiring about the patient’s sleeping habits and discussing if they’ve noticed any problems, a treatment plan is discussed.

Dental Treatment of Sleep Apnea

The standard treatment for sleep apnea is a device called a CPAP machine, which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It works by attaching a mask against the face or nose. This mask is connected to an air pump and pushes air through the airway and prohibits apnea from happening. Many patients find the machine difficult to sleep with, as it is loud and bulky. It can be very uncomfortable as well.

Dentists like Dr. Aurasteh, however, can also treat apnea, offering a more comfortable solution to a full night’s sleep. They can fabricate a customized oral piece called a mandibular advancement splint. This device is placed in the mouth and forces the lower jaw forward, keeping the airway open and allowing air to flow freely all night long. This can be a highly effective option to patients suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea.

Schedule a Sleep Apnea Appointment Now

Dr. Aurasteh is happy to be one of the first to offer this state of the art treatment in the United States. If you suffer from sleep apnea or any of its symptoms and are curious about the different treatment options available to you, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Call 310-247-1252 today.

Next read about The History of Teeth Whitening.

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