Green Dental and Orthodontics

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

 

A good night’s sleep is crucial for our overall health & well-being. Sadly, for countless people, achieving peaceful rest remains an elusive goal. And it happens because of a medical condition known as sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is marked by recurrent breathing interruptions during sleep, resulting in fragmented rest and potential health hazards. 

Sleep apnea can even cause several serious health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc. So, its treatment must be started immediately.

While several treatments are available, Dental Green emerges as a highly effective and innovative solution to combat this issue.

Our team of professional dentists in Sherman Oaks presents an innovative approach to address sleep apnea, particularly for individuals dealing with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. This solution entails the utilization of custom-made oral appliances, akin to mouthguards or retainers, which are worn during sleep to alleviate the condition.

The oral appliance helps by repositioning the jaw and tongue, effectively preventing the collapse of the airway during sleep. This allows for improved airflow and reduced instances of apnea events, resulting in better sleep quality and overall well-being.


Reason for treating sleep apnea

It is very important to seek medical attention if sleep apnea is suspected. A sufferer can completely stop breathing numerous times per hour, and this can quickly turn into a deadly situation. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue lying at the back of the patient’s throat collapses into the airway. The tongue then falls towards the back of the throat which tightens the blockage and prevents oxygen from entering the lungs.

The problem worsens when the chest region, diaphragm, and abdomen fight for air. The efforts they make to obtain vital oxygen only cause a further tightening of the blockage. The patient must arouse from deep sleep to tense the tongue and remove the soft tissue from the airway.

Because sleep apnea causes carbon dioxide levels to skyrocket in the blood and oxygen levels to decrease, the heart has to pump harder and faster to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Sleep apnea patients can technically “die” many times each night. Sleep apnea has been linked to a series of serious heart-related conditions, and should be investigated by the dentist at the earliest opportunity.

What does sleep apnea treatment involve?

Initially, the dentist will want to conduct tests in order to investigate, diagnose, and pinpoint a suitable treatment. The dentist can offer many different treatment options which depend largely on the exact diagnosis and the health of the patient. The dentist may advise the patient to halt some habits that aggravate sleep apnea such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and tranquilizer use.

Sleeping masks were traditionally used to keep the patient’s airways open while they slept, but nowadays there are some less intrusive options. Dental devices that gently tease the lower jaw forward are very effective in preventing the tongue from blocking the main air passage. These dental devices are gentle, easy to wear, and often help patients avoid unwanted surgeries.

A more permanent solution is to have surgery that sections the lower jaw and helps pull the bone holding the tongue forward slightly. This surgery has an impressive success rate and is simple for the dentist or oral surgeon to perform. The dentist needs to formally make a diagnosis of each individual case before recommending the best course of action.

If you feel you may benefit from sleep apnea treatment, contact our practice today.

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