Dental Sleep Medicine is an area of practice that concentrates on the management of sleep-related breathing conditions including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea through the use of oral appliance therapy.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening medical condition which causes your body to stop breathing at night while you sleep. The muscles located in your throat relax and the tongue can fall back and close off the airways while you sleep, reducing the amount of oxygen you receive to all of your organs including your heart and brain. Patients who experience sleep apnea may snore loudly and stop breathing for short periods of time. When your body stops breathing, you awake for a short moment while you remain unaware. This can happen hundreds of times every night, and you commonly wake up in the morning feeling unrefreshed.
In addition to snoring and redundant daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea can cause memory loss, morning headaches, irritability, depression, and lose the ability to concentrate. When sleep apnea is left undiagnosed, it can lead to hypertension, stroke, heart attack and sudden death while asleep.
Dentists Work Together with Sleep Physicians
Together, dentists and sleep physicians are enticed to respond to health risks and the economic hardship of undiagnosed sleep apnea and excessive daytime sleepiness. The physician recognizes and diagnoses sleep apnea conditions, while dentists provide the treatment.
Suffering From Sleep Related Conditions?
For many years, dentists have pioneered the use of oral appliance therapies for the treatment of sleep apnea and sleep related breathing disorders. An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only when you are sleeping. The device fits like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer, and stops the airway from closing by either situating the tongue or supporting the jaw in a forward position. With the use of the oral appliance device, dentists can minimize, or stop all together, the symptoms of sleep apnea in mild to moderate cases. After proper diagnoses for sleep apnea or a sleep related breathing disorder from your physician, our team of dentists will help you choose and fit your personalized oral appliance that is relaxing, effective, and efficient for you. We will also provide each patient with long-term follow-up care.
Fall Asleep. Stay Asleep. Wake up Refreshed!