Many people are unaware that sleep apnea is a dental concern worth bringing up at your next dental appointment. As your trusted dentist in Greeley, CO, we want to help our patients better understand their sleep apnea and, most importantly, inform our patients on how we can help. Here is some important information to know about sleep apnea:
More Than Snoring
The most noticeable symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring. At the surface level, this symptom may seem harmless beyond the occasional sleep disturbance; however, sleep apnea is actually known for having dangerous consequences. People suffering from sleep apnea are at a higher risk for a variety of health concerns including cardiovascular disease and stroke. Additionally, they can suffer from daytime fatigue which makes it risky to operate heavy machinery. That’s why we encourage patients to mention any suspicions of sleep apnea as soon as possible.
In addition to loud snoring, sleep apnea symptoms may also present as forgetfulness or trouble concentrating, insomnia, or waking in the night gasping for air.
Diagnoses & Treatment
The first step in seeking treatment for sleep apnea is seeking a diagnosis. This will require a sleep study. During an overnight study, a sleep specialist will closely monitor your sleep and breathing patterns. Afterward, these results will be given to our office for further evaluation. There are two types of sleep apnea you could potentially be diagnosed with:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea – This version of sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway usually caused when the soft tissue in the back of the mouth collapses.
- Central Sleep Apnea – This version of sleep apnea occurs when the nervous system is unable to send clear messages to the body, promoting proper breathing.
If you are diagnosed with central sleep apnea, Dr. Benson will refer you to an appropriate specialist. However, if you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, there are many options that we can present for you to help. In many cases, obstructive sleep apnea can be treated with a custom oral appliance used to hold your mouth in a healthy resting position as you sleep and promote proper breathing. This oral appliance closely resembles a nightguard, which is also used to help patients stop grinding their teeth. With oral appliance therapy, you will get relief from unwanted symptoms while preventing possible health complications from sleep apnea. For more severe cases of sleep apnea, Dr. Benson may recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
Schedule An Appointment
The first step toward treating your sleep apnea is scheduling an appointment with Integrated Dental. Our team is highly experienced in treating patients with sleep apnea. Dental sleep medicine is a concentration of Dr. Melvin Benson, and he looks forward to helping you achieve a good night’s sleep while also restoring your dental and physical health. if you’re ready to experience exceptional dentistry that puts patient comfort first, we invite you to request an appointment.