Sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep disorder. The major signs of sleep apnea include: feeling short of breath, pauses in breathing, loud and chronic snoring, waking up at night, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, attention problems, irritability, morning headaches as well as choking, snorting or gasping during a sleep. Breathing is interrupted because the muscles around a tongue are relaxed during a sleep. As a result, the airflow to the lungs is blocked.
Sleep apnea sufferers may have many interruptions in breathing at night. Actually, the severity of it is determined by the number of pauses in breathing per hour. So, if you as a person experience 5 – 14 pauses in breathing per hour during a nights sleep that means that you have mild sleep apnea. If you experience 15 – 30 pauses in breathing per hour during a nights sleep that means you have moderate sleep apnea. If you experience more than 30 pauses in breathing that means that you have severe sleep apnea.
Obviously, sleep apnea is a serious health condition that requires a quick and effective treatment. So, if you believe that you might be suffering from it then you should definitely contact us at PJN Dental as soon as possible. After analyzing your problem carefully, Dr. Pascal Nguyen will be able to recommend the appropriate sleep apnea treatment option for you. But how can a dentist fix apnea? Lets dive in.
Why It’s So Important to Treat Sleep Apnea
It’s important to know that sleep apnea can be very harmful to your health. Sleep apnea can lead to negative consequences as high blood pressure, increased risk of diabetes as well as different types of heart problems (such as heart arrhythmias, heart attack and stroke).
Another big problem is that people who have with sleep apnea can’t sleep well. It goes without saying that the lack of sleep negatively affects your overall health as well as productivity. Oftentimes, sleep apnea patients experience a lot of stress in their life and suffer from depression. And of course, you should treat sleep apnea effectively to prevent the above mentioned health problems.
Dental Appliances vs. CPAP Machines as Sleep Apnea Solutions
Sleep apnea treatment is all about improving airflow. That’s why keeping airways open plays a big role in treating sleep apnea disorder. It’s important to point out that CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) as well as dental appliances are widely used to treat sleep apnea these days. CPAP therapy is usually recommended to moderate and severe sleep apnea patients. However, if you suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea then it’s best for you to take advantage of dental appliances.
Actually, dental appliances offer a lot of competitive advantages over CPAP machines. One of great benefits of using dental appliances to fix this problem is that they are more comfortable comparing to CPAP devices. The reality is CPAP machines often cause dry and itchy nose. However, using dental appliances helps you avoid this kind of inconvenience. Plus, using dental appliances involves much less equipment. That means you’ll find it easy to sleep and travel with dental appliances.
Using Dental Appliances to Treat Sleep Apnea
There are two types of dental appliances which can be used for treating sleep apnea – Mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and tongue retaining mouthpieces. Generally speaking, you will use an oral appliance to normalize breathing and get a better sleep. However, the most important thing is that dental appliances improve airflow and reduce the frequency and loudness of snoring dramatically. Now, we’ll give you more details about each type of dental appliances.
Mandibular advancement devices have metal hinges. It’s worth noting that metal hinges are used to connect a device on the upper and lower teeth. You will sit this device comfortably in your mouth while you sleep. Doing this will put your jaw in the best position for you to get maximum airflow because it helps keep airways open and normalize breathing during the sleep. What’s great about MADs is that they’re adjustable. In other words, Dr. Nguyen can adjust this device to fit your in mouth perfectly because it is custom made just for you.
Tongue retaining mouthpieces come with a small compartment that can be used to fit a device around the tongue. Actually, the device holds the tongue and this helps prevent blocking airways. We recommend this to patients that have difficulty comfortably adjusting their jaw during their sleep.
A Dentist’s Role in Treating Sleep Apnea
If Dr. Nguyen suggests that you need to use an appliance to fix your sleep apnea issue you’ll be able to get one directly from him.
During the consultation Dr. Pascal Nguyen will evaluate your teeth as well as gums and study your problem carefully. He will also analyze your medical history. His job is to make sure that your jaw and teeth are healthy so you’ll be able to wear dental appliances without problems in the future. After that, Dr. Nguyen will discuss all possible treatment options with you.
It’s worth noting that you and Dr. Pascal Nguyen in Aloha Oregon will need to work closely to choose the right type of treatment. When he selects a dental appliance for the treatment it’s very important to take into account many different factors such as the complexity of a problem, the structure of your airways, other medical problems and, of course, your personal preferences. When you both make the decision, Dr. Nguyen will then fit the appliance into your mouth.
Afterwards, you’ll be able to come in to PJN Dental for check-ups so we can keep your mouth healthy on a regular basis. If things go wrong with your oral appliance then a Dr. Nguyen will be able to make all the necessary changes. Finally, you’ll get all of your dental problems fixed. If you see that your bite has changed or you begin to experience pain then you should definitely contact us at PJN Dental for help as soon as possible!
We’re located at 3895 SW 185th Avenue, Suite 110, Aloha, Oregon 97078.
If you’re curious about getting a free sleep apnea test done and check your airways, contact us at any time.