What is sleep apnea therapy?
Sleep apnea may not seem like it would be associated with your oral health, but it is often accompanied by several dental concerns. Dentists are usually the ones to not only catch early signs of sleep apnea, but will actually treat the symptoms as well. About one in thirteen people in America suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, which is why Dr. Brian Childs and Dr. Janet Childs offer sleep apnea therapy to their patients in the Naples, FL area.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The symptoms of sleep apnea can be subtle, which is why you may not know you have it until your dentist catches it during your yearly exams. Common signs of obstructive sleep apnea include feeling tired upon waking, morning headaches, severe snoring, gasping or choking sounds while you sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness. If left untreated for too long, it can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and other inflammatory diseases, which is why it important to alert your dentist if you have been experiencing related symptoms.
Where Your Dentist Fits In
Since many people who have sleep apnea tend to snore heavily at night and have trouble breathing, they sleep with their mouth open. Having your mouth open for extended periods of time causes your mouth to dry up, and without the constant flow of saliva to rinse away bacteria, it is left to wreak havoc on your mouth. When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, it may make you more prone to tooth decay and gum disease.
Your dentist can also help treat symptoms of sleep apnea with a dental appliance. This dental appliance looks like a mouthguard but is designed to pull the bottom jaw forward to help open up the airway while you sleep. These appliances are custom fitted to your teeth to ensure proper fit and comfort so you can sleep more peacefully at night.
Sleep Apnea Therapy
Not all dentists are trained in sleep apnea therapy treatments, so it is important that you find a dentist that offers this service. If you live in the Naples, FL area and would like more information on sleep apnea and sleep apnea treatments, please contact our office to schedule an exam.