2 Proven Methods That Improve Your Sleep Apnea

2 Proven Methods That Improve Your Sleep Apnea

Is your snoring so loud that your partner regularly relocates to the couch to get some shuteye? Or perhaps you wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you can’t get enough air or find yourself exhausted during the day.

All these are signs of sleep apnea, a health condition that affects a startling 30 million Americans — yet only six million have received diagnoses.

The dedicated dentistry team at Expressions in Dentistry has expertise in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, and they understand how it can potentially harm both your oral and overall health. The practice is armed with effective treatments to mitigate sleep apnea and offers many services for the entire family — all delivered with professionalism and a caring touch.

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by your throat’s soft tissues becoming so relaxed when you’re sleeping that they block your airway, making it hard to breathe. The condition is characterized by:

In addition to putting you at risk for serious health conditions such as heart problems and high blood pressure, sleep apnea affects your everyday quality of life, which impacts school performance and work productivity.

Sleep apnea and oral health

Dentists have an important stake in treating sleep apnea in their patients because prolonged periods of sleeping with your mouth open, as you do when you suffer from sleep apnea, pose a threat to your teeth and gums. You’re more likely to suffer from:

Sleep apnea risk factors include being over 40, overweight, or male. Having a family history of sleep apnea and lifestyle factors like smoking and alcohol use make you more prone to the condition, too. You’re also at higher risk if you live with certain medical conditions, like diabetes or Parkinson’s disease.

The two most important things to do for sleep apnea

When we considered the most game-changing things you can do to help your sleep apnea, we realized that it takes a partnership between you and your dentist to get the most relief.

Steps you can take include losing weight if necessary, quitting smoking if you do smoke, and limiting your intake of alcohol, tranquilizers, and sedatives since they relax your throat muscles even more. 

Patients are embracing two key treatments we offer at Expressions in Dentistry because they find that the old go-to sleep apnea treatment, the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, cumbersome, uncomfortable, and hard to live with.

This machine has a mask you wear over your mouth and nose at night that’s attached to a device, which supplies it with pressurized, humidified air. This steady stream of oxygen keeps your airway from closing.

The CPAP alternatives that we offer have multiple advantages:

1. VIVOS sleep apnea treatment slowly expands your upper jaw, adjusting your airway structurally and enabling better breathing — and it’s completely nonsurgical. 

The wearable device is something you use while sleeping for a period of 12-24 months, and after it does its restructuring job, you never have to wear it again. The solution it offers is permanent — quite different from the endlessness of CPAP treatment. 

In fact, in both children and adults, VIVOS has been found to improve anxiety and depression.

Many families we treat have used this treatment preventively if their children are at risk for sleep apnea, and it’s been found to positively impact other conditions like persistent bed-wetting and ADD.

2. We also treat sleep apnea with a type of customized mouthpiece called a mandibular advancement device. Similar to a mouthguard you’d wear while playing sports, you wear this while you sleep. The device softly pushes your lower jaw just a bit forward. The effect? Your airway is opened, and you don’t suffer apnea-related breathing problems.

We’re committed to helping you find the right solution for you or your child if sleep apnea is getting in the way of living a healthy, well-rested life.

Call our office at 916-252-9186 to schedule an appointment and learn more, or use our convenient online booking tool. Remember to ask about our affordable in-office dental plan too — it helps take the stress out of getting the treatment you need. 

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