Sleep apnea refers to a condition in which soft tissue at the back of a patient’s throat collapses and obstructs the ability to breathe. This action can happen several times as a patient sleeps during the night, and they may not notice its occurrence.
Although a patient may not recognize they have this condition, its repeated disruption can cause major health concerns if left untreated. Dr. Brian Sang, a dentist in Florence, SC, describes the sleep apnea treatment you can expect from your local dentist.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
This condition manifests while a patient is unconscious, so it can be difficult to realize that you have sleep apnea. The partner of a patient may notice this individual snores loudly or stops breathing while they sleep.
Symptoms a patient may recognize in themselves include gasping awake, grogginess, or headaches. If these symptoms sound familiar, you may want to ask your medical professional about sleep apnea testing and treatment.
What Treatment Can a Dentist Provide?
Your general practitioner can provide sleep apnea treatment with a CPAP machine: a mask worn over the nose or mouth as you sleep that forces air through your airways. Not all patients react well to this treatment, and your dentist can offer an alternative option.
Your dentist can create a customized oral appliance that you can wear overnight. It fits your unique smile and is similar to a mouthguard. This device is designed to keep your jaw aligned so that your airway remains unobstructed throughout the night.
Are There Health Risks Involved?
The continued cessation of breathing throughout the sleep cycle of a sleep apnea patient can lead to multiple health concerns. Repeated cut-offs of oxygen to vital organs raise a patient’s risk of heart conditions which can become life-threatening. Lack of sleep lowers cognitive function and ultimately deteriorates mental health.
If a patient does not tolerate the CPAP machine, the health risks of sleep apnea remain. An oral appliance is non-invasive and allows a patient to sleep as they normally would. If you notice that your device slips or does not fit properly, let your dentist know.
Treat Sleep Apnea in Florence, SC
Palmetto Smiles treats sleep apnea and other oral health concerns in patients in Florence, SC. Dr. Sang specializes in cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule a consultation or appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 843.203.5155.