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How Can My Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?

How Can My Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea interferes with your ability to get a full night’s sleep. It may seem like you’ve slept all night, but sleep apnea frequently interrupts your breathing. The momentary pauses in breathing make you feel groggy and lethargic. It can also cause morning headaches. 

Over time, sleep apnea increases your risk of developing several health complications.

While it’s technically a sleep disorder, dentists can help treat sleep apnea. Our prosthodontist, Dr. Ramin Mahallati and our team at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry offer a range of restorative and cosmetic dentistry services at our Beverly Hills, California, office.

How your dentist can treat sleep apnea

The most common type of sleep apnea is OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). When you have OSA, the muscles in the back of your throat relax when you sleep, blocking the airway. 

If you’re diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, we may recommend treatment with a CPAP machine — the most common treatment method for sleep apnea. 

CPAP consists of a mask that delivers a continuous oxygen flow to keep your airway open while you sleep. 

OSA is also treated with an oral appliance to keep your lower jaw in place while you sleep, keeping the airway open and minimizing snoring.

Sleep apnea can be challenging to diagnose. Many people with the condition don’t realize they’ve stopped breathing while they sleep until a sleep partner notices it. 

Loud and chronic snoring is a common symptom of OSA. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or have symptoms, a comprehensive dental exam can determine if you have contributing risk factors like a small airway.

Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea

In addition to snoring, some common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

Untreated sleep apnea can disrupt your quality of life, making it difficult to perform at school, work, or enjoy your normal activities. It also increases your risk of potentially serious health problems, including hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.

Several factors can increase your risk of developing sleep apnea, including family history, weight challenges, smoking, drinking alcohol, age, and the size and shape of your tongue and neck. 

Anyone can develop sleep apnea, but it’s more common in older people and men.

For more information about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, contact the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mahallati at our office in Beverly Hills.

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