Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What is Dental Sleep Medicine, and How can a Dentist Treat My Sleep Apnea?

Dental sleep medicine is a specialized field of dentistry focused on diagnosing and treating the cause of snoring, which is often related to the dangerous condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Although many people occasionally snore, for tens of millions of Americans snoring is just one of the symptoms of OSA. While snoring alone is not necessarily harmful, sleep apnea can increase your risks for severe medical problems including heart attack, stroke, hypertension and cardiac arrhythmia among other conditions.

Dental sleep medicine addresses the cause of sleep apnea and treats it in an individualized manner. Sleep apnea treatment has long utilized continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines; yet many patients find these devices uncomfortable and cumbersome, and discontinue their use.

Thanks to advances in technology and a deeper understanding of the airway blockages associated with obstructive sleep apnea, many patients who suffer from OSA find success with oral appliances. Oral appliances can effectively treat many cases of sleep apnea by stabilizing your jaw and tongue to help you maintain an open airflow during sleep.

Oral appliances are custom made for your individual bite condition, and they hold the jaw and tongue forward while allowing you to keep your jaw properly aligned as you sleep.

If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

posted by Steve at 8:27 AM