Wake up to the importance and ease of sleep apnea treatment at the dentist’s office

Man having sleep apnea treatment

Led by Dr. Dan Hwang, we at Creo Dentistry in Marysville, Washington have an entire category of therapies to protect the health of your teeth, supportive tissues and structures, and that support your overall health and wellbeing. These oral appliances range from mouthguards to protect the teeth and jaws from sports injuries, to night guards to prevent damage caused by teeth grinding. Yet another type of appliance takes on a serious health threat affecting more than 18 million Americans: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

Dentists: On the front lines of treatment

If you’re like most patients, you will be visiting Dr. Hwang at least every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. During the exam portion of your visit, he may suspect that you have OSA. Since you may only visit a family physician once a year, it is quite possible that a dental professional like Dr. Hwang will be the first to identify this condition. Since OSA stems from lax tissues in the oral cavity that actually block the airway during sleep, it makes sense that an expert in oral anatomy would take note of the following symptoms or complaints:

  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Snoring
  • Chronic headaches, especially upon waking
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Insomnia, lack of restful sleep
  • Chips, or signs of teeth-grinding

Additional symptoms are not necessarily associated with the oral cavity, but can arise as complications of OSA. These include mood changes and irritability, and poor concentration and other cognitive issues. Since quality sleep plays such an important role in all aspects of our lives, sleep apnea can interfere with your overall well being and quality of life. Untreated sleep apnea also stresses your heart and other organs, making sufferers more likely to develop conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, liver problems, fatty liver disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Due to the serious nature of OSA, it is critical that you get prompt treatment.

Options for treatment

Dr. Hwang works in conjunction with sleep medicine professionals, your family physician, and other doctors. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, your treatment team may determine that oral appliance therapy is a safe and effective option for you. Many patients appreciate that oral appliances are discreet and noninvasive. Slip them into your mouth prior to sleep and forget your wearing it! The appliance is designed to conform to your mouth and to correct the tissues that otherwise block your airway and impede breathing during sleep. The device may be designed to depress the tongue or to reposition the jaws and move the tissues in the throat out of the way. These devices are generally considered to be a convenient and comfortable alternative to CPAP therapy, which is an effective treatment but has a lower compliance rate. You cannot afford to sleep on OSA treatment. Call us today at (360) 502-7217 to schedule your evaluation.