Patients suffering from sleep apnea and related conditions like bruxism naturally want to know more about their condition and how dental intervention can help. At Fioritto Family Dental, we’re happy to address all of your questions and concerns.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common, and it occurs when the throat muscles relax, causing soft tissues to collapse and block the airway. Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, occurs when the muscles responsible for breathing don’t receive signals the brain sends them. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the two conditions.
If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you may snore loudly and stop breathing up to dozens of times per hour, sometimes for several seconds at a stretch before you wake, choking or gasping for air. Many people with sleep apnea don’t even know they have it because they don’t wake fully and don’t remember waking. Symptoms like headaches, dry mouth, fatigue (and related symptoms), and bruxism could be signs of sleep apnea.
What is sleep support?
How can our dentists help you with sleep apnea? Through sleep support, including treatment designed to ensure steady breathing and uninterrupted sleep throughout the night. Fioritto Family Dental is qualified to offer custom dental appliances designed to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea, as well as supplement other treatment in more severe cases.
What are dental appliances?
The term “dental appliances” refers to any number of wearable devices, either temporary or permanent, that can help to correct oral health concerns. Appliances for sleep apnea include custom devices similar to mouth guards that are worn during sleep and help to position the jaw in such a way that airways can’t collapse when the muscles of the throat relax.
What if dental appliances don’t work for me?
Many patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea will benefit from the use of a custom dental appliance, but every case is different. Patients that have severe obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, or complex sleep apnea may need to seek additional or alternative therapies.
The most common solution is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which includes tubing that leads to a face mask, providing pressurized air while you sleep to keep airways open throughout the night. CPAP machines can be used alone or paired with dental appliances, depending on your needs.
Are you qualified to provide sleep support?
Yes! Our trained and experienced dentists are qualified to offer dental appliance therapy to help treat your sleep apnea.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea and you want to improve the quality of sleep and your overall health, contact Fioritto Family Dental today at 440-951-5511 or online to schedule a appointment to learn more.