Can a Dentist Offer Treatment for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is known for its unpleasant treatment. The CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is prescribed to millions of people every year for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you have been recently diagnosed with OSA, you do not have to suffer through using this machine. There is another sleep apnea treatment option and your local Loveland, CO area dentist offers it.
Dr. Joseph Thompson is a general dentist that treats OSA with oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is essentially a mouthpiece that dentists can use to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. Dr. Thompson has completed mastery level courses in order to offer oral appliances. Additionally, he is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
Sleep Apnea Overview
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage in your airway. The blockage in the air passages is typically caused by excess tissue and relaxed throat muscles. This takes places as a person sleeps resulting in them being unable to take in air. The patient will stop breathing until the brain receives the signal that the body is lacking oxygen. This signal causes the patient to awake up so the body can begin breathing again. This pattern of stopping and starting to breathe happens multiple times during the night. These episodes are so quick the person will not even know they have been briefly woken up. Patients wake up feeling exhausted despite thinking they got a full night’s sleep.
Do I have OSA?
The signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are not always easy to spot. Oftentimes, being extremely tried is the only problem. Additionally, people often snore excessively loud however not everyone that snores has sleep apnea. A complete list of signs and symptoms include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring often reported by a partner
- Gasping for air also often reported by a partner
- Cannot focus during the day
- Using the restroom often during the night
- Dry mouth upon waking up
Sleep apnea is also associated with many risks. Patients who suffer from OSA have an increased chance of getting into car wrecks, losing their jobs due to poor performance, and suffering from depression. Furthermore, they are at greater risk of suffering from many serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Loveland, CO
The go-to treatment for sleep apnea has always been the dreaded CPAP machine. While very effective, they hold a low compliance rate among patients. They are noisy, inconvenient, and many people dislike the feeling of air being blown in their face while trying to sleep. Thanks to advances in medicine and dental technology, patients who suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea can wear an oral appliance to keep their air passage open while they sleep.
What is an Oral Sleep Appliance?
An oral sleep appliance is essentially a mouth piece that is worn while sleeping. It works by pushing the lower jaw into a forward position. When the lower jaw is held in this position, it prevents the airway from collapsing. The benefits of using this appliance to treat your sleep disorder include:
- No need to wear a restrictive mask
- Convenient and easier to travel with
- No tube running from your face to a machine
- No air is blowing in your face
Book An Appointment for an Oral Sleep Appliance Consult
Dr. Thompson works with many local sleep specialists in the Loveland, CO area to help patients find the best sleep apnea treatment. Call our office today at or schedule an appointment online to learn more about this noninvasive treatment for sleep apnea.