Can our Placerville dentists really help end snoring and reduce sleep apnea symptoms? We can and it’s easier than you think! When many people hear about sleep apnea, they immediately think of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines and sleeping with a mask the rest of their lives. But let’s discuss how CPAP works and why dental treatments are helpful with airway problems.
Sleep Apnea Defined
Sleep apnea is a disorder that stops your breathing for short periods throughout the night. This complication dangerously lowers blood oxygen levels during sleep. A CPAP machine forces air through the airway by means of an air pump, but they make noise, require wearing a mask and many people simply stop using them. So consult with our dentists to see if your problem with sleep apnea is caused by a narrow mouth or abnormalities in your arches that cause the tongue to block your airway.
Dental Solutions for Sleep Apnea
Problems caused by the shape of your oral cavity may be corrected or improved by altering the shape of the arches with orthodontics, such as braces or Invisalign. Treating the cause and not just the symptoms of sleep apnea by using the human body’s natural growth processes greatly improves air flow and increases room in a patient’s mouth, resulting in less snoring and breathing improvements. One dentist said this about treatment via orthodontics: “By expanding the arches in the mouth, we can increase the…volume of the upper airway. We know from fluid mechanics, as volume increases, resistance decreases. If airway resistance decreases, it’s easier to breathe, less snoring, less holding of the breath, more oxygen saturation, therefore forced air (CPAP) may not be needed.”
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is another effective and non-invasive treatment option for patients seeking to improve their sleep quality. There are many different types of devices that open the airway, prevent the tongue from blocking the airway, or a combination of these. So a custom fit oral appliance not only improves sleep, but also improves your partner’s sleep too, because everyone sleeps more quietly! And if you have implant dentures, we can design an appliance that snaps on to your implants just like your dentures.
Advantages of Dental Solutions for Sleep Apnea
To summarize, patients like OAT because:
- Appliances are custom fit;
- They’re easy to wear and keep clean;
- Quiet — no machines needed;
- Portable — no batteries or cords required;
- Convenient, take it with you anywhere.
- Immediate results.
Other patients prefer orthodontic solutions for the following reasons:
- Altering the arches provides a permanent fix;
- Appearance is often improved;
- Gets to the root cause of the problem, instead of solving only the symptoms.
To determine which method of dealing with sleep apnea is best for you, contact our Placerville dental office for a consultation to see if orthodontics or oral appliances will help you sleep better!