What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder in which one experiences disrupted breathing throughout the night. These disruptions can last from a few seconds to two or three minutes, and occur upwards of thirty times in a single hour. Sleep apnea is a result of one’s throat muscles becoming too relaxed and blocking their airway entirely. In other instances, the size of a person’s jaw or tongue may also be the cause.

People with sleep apnea generally have a poor quality of sleep or even insomnia, as the sudden lack of oxygen causes them to abruptly wake-up. Due to the subsequent connection between sleep quality and other health-related issues, those with sleep apnea are prone to develop diabetes, heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure.

Sleep Apnea and Dentistry

Believe it or not, sleep apnea and oral health are greatly connected. So if you visit your dentist and they ask how you’re sleeping, don’t be surprised. As mentioned before, sleep apnea can be induced by one’s oral anatomy, specifically, their tongue and jaw. If someone’s tongue is too large, or their jaw too small, the airway of the throat will be blocked. 

Dentist Specializing In Sleep Apnea

The primary treatment for sleep apnea is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or a CPAP, machine. But that is typically for patient’s whose disorder is caused by a neurological condition or obesity. Of course, when the issue is deemed to be oral health-related, a dentist who treats sleep apnea will take over the treatment process.

Dentists specializing in sleep apnea will be able to create an oral appliance for the patient to wear that will ideally fix the problem. This oral appliance is similar to a mouth guard that a dentist might create for someone with bruxism, which incidentally is also a telltale sign of sleep apnea. Your dentist will begin by examining your mouth, throat, and jaw to determine what is causing the obstruction. Some dentists may also take x-rays to get a more thorough evaluation.

Depending on your dentist, personal preference, or both, your sleep apnea mouth guard will be created through 3D digital scanning or an impression mold. The result will be a mold that is to be worn exclusively at night, which will support your mouth and jaw during slumber to ensure that the airway is unobstructed.

After presenting you with your sleep apnea mouth guards, dentists will make sure that it fits comfortably. They will then explain how to use it and how to clean it. These oral devices are used almost exclusively in people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. They are an affordable, convenient, and comfortable form of treatment.

Sleep Apnea Dentist Albuquerque

If you’re looking for a sleep apnea dentist, Albuquerque, Cottonwood Dental is the place to go. Our dentists use state-of-the-art technology to provide our patients with the best care possible. Our patient’s oral health and personal happiness is our number one priority. For inquiries and scheduling, please call (505) 210-7884 today.