How your dentist can help you get a better night's sleep
When filling out our new patient paperwork or completing your annual update, our patients are prompted to answer a couple questions about sleep. These questions are as follows:
Have you been told you snore?
Are you being treated for sleep apnea?
Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea?
Our Jacksonville dentist Dr. Rachel Monteiro can help determine if you may have sleep apnea and if you could benefit from dental appliance therapy to cure your snoring and sleep apnea.
What's the big deal about snoring?
If you snore, catch yourself waking up choking or gasping for air, or have been told you snore loudly, you may need to be evaluated for sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic condition that deprives you of oxygen which affects your entire body and its systems. A recent study published by Harvard Health stated that about 25% of men and 10% of women suffer from OSA. Lacking oxygen can have long term effects on the body, especially respiratory, digestive, and circulatory systems. Dentists can work closely with physicians not only to diagnose and monitor sleep apnea but also treat you, improve your sleep, and revitalize your overall health.
What can be done for snoring and sleep apnea?
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is the continuous positive ariway pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP uses pressure to keep airways open while you sleep, allowing for a steady flow of oxygen into the nose and mouth. There are different types of CPAP devices but they are all made of the same basic components, including a mask that is worn over the nose at night time.
Patients with mild to moderate OSA who can’t tolerate the CPAP machine may opt to try dental appliance therapy instead. With this option, an oral appliance similar to an orthodontic retainer is worn only during sleep and works to gently position the jaw forward, allowing airways to remain open. Oral appliances are convenient due to their comfort and portability. Unlike a CPAP, they are silent and easy to care for.\
After a complete clinical evaluation and confirmation that you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy, digital impressions and models of your teeth will be made and sent to a lab where the final device will be custom designed and processed. Once returned to our office, you will come in for a fitting and any necessary adjustments will be made to ensure your comfort and maximum effectiveness.
If you or a loved on has questions on how we can help improve your sleep, do not hesitate to contact our office at 904-348-0416 or through our website at www.RiverOaksDentalJax.com. The River Oaks Dental team would love to answer any questions and help you achieve a better night’s sleep.