In addition to regular cleanings and helping with oral health issues, dentists at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry in Chevy Chase can help treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with sleep apnea or struggle with snoring, make an appointment with us to find out if an oral appliance is right for you.
Q: How can a dentist help with sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is most commonly associated with excess weight or obesity. Muscles relax during sleep, and excess fat tissue can obstruct the airway and make it more difficult to breathe. Certain sleep positions make this effect more pronounced, such as sleeping on the back or side.
The sleeper often stops breathing, wakes up multiple times gasping for air, feels tired all day, or even has issues with memory or concentration. Simply put, sleep apnea doesn’t just affect sleep — it can affect every part of a patient’s life and severely impact quality of life.
Your dentist can fit you with an oral appliance that moves the lower jaw forward so it doesn’t block the airway while you sleep. Many patients report less snoring after being fitted for this device.
Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. How does the oral appliance work?
While a common sleep apnea treatment is indeed CPAP therapy, an oral appliance achieves a similar effect. Both CPAP therapy and an oral appliance keep the airway open during sleep, when the soft tissues around the mouth are more relaxed.
The appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to keep the airway open. It’s a less invasive way to treat sleep apnea, as it’s a simple device that fits in the mouth instead of a machine with tubes and filters to worry about. The device repositions the bottom jaw, moving it forward to keep soft tissue from blocking the airway. It’s sturdy enough to withstand teeth grinding, so even people who struggle with teeth grinding can benefit from this form of treatment.
Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?
Our dentists with patients individually for a customized consultation. After taking precise measurements, our experienced staff will ensure you’re fitted correctly. While the device does reposition the jaw, it’s designed to do so in a comfortable manner so as not to disrupt sleep. Most patients report a reduction in snoring, leading to better sleep for themselves and their loved ones!
The expert staff of Capital Cosmetic Dentistry in Chevy Chase, MD wants to help you get better sleep. Call 202-769-0324 or schedule an appointment online today.