Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses and briefly blocks the airway during sleep. While these episodes are not life-threatening, this condition can lead to major health concerns if left untreated.
Your general practitioner can create a treatment plan for sleep apnea, but your dentist can also assist you with mild symptoms. Dr. Paul Larsen, a dentist in Bountiful, UT, describes how a visit to your dentist’s office can help you manage your sleep apnea.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
Because symptoms of sleep apnea present while an individual is asleep, some patients do not realize they have this disorder. A partner of the patient may report loud snoring or periods of breathing cessation during the night.
The patient may notice that they wake up gasping or feel groggy or disoriented during the day. If these symptoms sound familiar, you may want to talk to a medical professional about a potential sleep apnea diagnosis.
What Treatment Will I Need?
A physician may recommend sleep apnea treatment using a CPAP machine. This device involves a mask that covers the nose or mouth and forces oxygen into your airway as you sleep.
A dentist can offer an alternative treatment for patients with mild sleep apnea symptoms that do not tolerate the noise or fit of a CPAP machine. Your dentist can create a customized mouthguard that you can wear when you sleep which aligns your jaw to stop the tissue in the back of your throat from collapsing.
Are There Risks with This Treatment?
Your dentist constructs this mouthguard to fit the unique size and shape of your mouth. You will not have to worry about the appliance slipping out of place during the night, and there are no medical risks with this dental treatment.
The continuation of breathing cessation with untreated sleep apnea can lead to grave health concerns. This disorder can add pressure to your heart over time, raising your risk of heart failure and other issues. Chronic lack of good-quality sleep can lead to cognitive problems down the road too.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Available in Bountiful, UT
Dr. Larsen treats sleep apnea and other dental concerns in patients located near Bountiful, UT. Our practice specializes in cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our team, reach out to our office online or call us at 801.228.0155.