What is obstructive sleep apnea, and can your dentist help?

young beautiful woman sleeping in bed with eye mask

Many patients do not think of their family dentist helping with conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea. But you would be surprised to find out that our team at New Smiles Dental in Sherwood, OR, is pleased to provide an alternative to the dreaded CPAP machine often recommended to patients with this condition.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

The dentists at New Smiles Dental describe obstructive sleep apnea as a sleeping disorder that occurs when someone’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. This can occur due to a blockage in the airway, such as from excess tissue in the throat or tongue or from the position of the jaw. When breathing is interrupted, it can cause snoring and other noises, as well as gasping or choking sounds. Obstructive sleep apnea can also lead to daytime fatigue because the person is not getting enough restful sleep at night.

How can a dentist help me with my obstructive sleep apnea?

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may be wondering if there is anything your dentist can do to help. The answer is yes! Your dentist can work with you in creating a custom mouthpiece that can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of sleep.

Mouthpieces are also called oral appliances or “mandibular advancement devices.” They work by bringing the lower jaw slightly forward, which opens up your airway and makes it easier to breathe at night.

Dentists specializing in sleep apnea treatment can help you choose the right oral appliance for your needs and ensure it fits properly. If you wear dentures, have gum disease, or suffer from TMJ disorder, you may need a special type of mouthpiece.

Some patients are concerned about the cost of obstructive sleep apnea oral appliances, but most insurance companies will cover at least a portion of the expense. If you do not have insurance, there are many financing options available at New Smiles Dental to make treatments affordable.

Please schedule an appointment today at our Sherwood, OR area office!

If you think an oral appliance might be right for you, talk to your dentist at New Smiles Dental about your options. You will be on your way to a good night’s sleep in no time! Our practice is open to new patients and can be reached by calling 503-925-9595.

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