How Dentistry Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea

How Dentistry Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder characterized by loud snoring, but that’s not all. It also stops your breathing multiple times throughout the night. In some cases, this indicates a breakdown in communication between your brain and your breathing muscles. This is called central sleep apnea, and it requires immediate medical attention.

More common is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when your tongue or other soft tissues relax and block your upper airway. This accounts for the loud snoring sound as the air struggles to move in and out. Dental professionals specialize in all aspects of your oral cavity and may be able to reduce or solve your obstructive sleep apnea.

But not all dentists are qualified. Dr. Benjamin C. Wang at Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry in Portland, Oregon, is trained and experienced in treating obstructive sleep apnea.

Here’s how his expertise as a dentist can improve your sleep apnea symptoms.

How do medical doctors treat obstructive sleep apnea?

Medical doctors have been treating obstructive sleep apnea for many years with a very effective piece of machinery that regulates continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). A mask you wear over your mouth and nose is connected to a flexible tube that’s attached to a bedside machine. 

While the machine serves its purpose, it isn’t always successful because of user failure or intolerance. In fact, depending on which study you read, up to 83% of sleep apnea sufferers can’t stand it and won’t use it.

The reasons are multiple and varied:

Fortunately, Dr. Wang has an alternative option.

How dentists treat obstructive sleep apnea

In many cases of mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea, all it takes is repositioning your jaw to correct the problem. Dr. Wang can fit you with an oral device that resembles an athlete’s mouthguard, but instead of protecting your teeth from a burly linebacker, it protects your airway from being blocked by your floppy tongue.

Technically called a mandibular advancement device (MAD), this appliance helps keep your airway open so you can enjoy uninterrupted sleep. 

But you can’t just buy this appliance at your local drugstore. You need a qualified dentist like Dr. Wang to make an exact impression of your teeth so he can create a perfectly fitted device, custom-designed for the unique contours of your mouth.

The advantages of an oral appliance include:

The best quality of the oral device is that it works. For those who can’t tolerate the CPAP machine, this is a huge breakthrough in their treatment. 

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, but can’t stand the CPAP machine, you may be a great candidate for a MAD. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Wang to find out more. Book an appointment online or call our office today. 

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