Sleep apnea affects tens of millions of American adults. Without an effective treatment solution, obstructive sleep apnea can cause symptoms that affect the patient negatively at night and throughout each day. The good news is that there are effective treatment solutions for sleep apnea. In this review, we discuss the most popular options from a…
What Is Dental Sleep Medicine?
Dental sleep medicine is a specialized field in general dentistry. It applies knowledge on the oral appliance theory for a sleep-disordered breathing treatment. As such, loud snoring and the different types of sleep apnea are examples. Resting is relaxing, yet it becomes irritating when you find yourself drifting away with the loud snoring sound of someone nearby. Dentists in this field can help you or your beloved one treat these disorders and achieve a good night’s sleep. Keep reading to find out more about dental sleep medicine.
Causes of sleep apnea
Generally, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that needs attention. Dental sleep medicine dentists have the solution. Many factors cause or induce sleep apnea, and these are the bases on which solution is right for the patient. The factors also depend on the type of sleep apnea that the patient has. Nonetheless, the dentists have a treatment for all these.
Obstructive sleep apnea
This is the most common type of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes a patient to stop and start breathing repeatedly. Snoring is one sign that a patient has obstructive sleep apnea. This happens when the back part of the throat relaxes. It narrows the airway, obstructing airflow.
Central sleep apnea
In the case of central sleep apnea, the patient also repeatedly stops and starts breathing. However, this type happens not because of airway obstruction. It can be the result or aftermath of heart failure or stroke. Usually, when things get worse, they recommend using breathing aid devices or an oxygen tank.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome
A patient can have both obstructive and central sleep apnea symptoms. In that case, they are diagnosed as having complex sleep apnea syndrome. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the patient experiences continuous central sleep apneas even after disabling obstructive events. This means that after relieving OSA, central sleep apnea happens. This can be very alarming, but with dentists in service, their methods can help.
Oral appliance theory
Dental sleep medicine dentists use the oral appliance theory to treat sleep-disordered breathing. While sleep doctors diagnose patients with these disorders, the dentists are the ones who use the solution or treatment. Patients use an oral appliance that helps improve the airway for central sleep apnea. This is to prevent the obstruction of airflow, which is the primary cause of obstructive events. Their oral appliances help patients have a normal sleep with no sudden choking or gasping.
Benefits of treating sleep apnea
Many people experience sleep apnea. Anti-snoring devices are available on the market. Even so, dental sleep medicine still has the most predictable treatment. Going through the proper sleep apnea treatments has its benefits. Here are some of them:
- Reducing stroke and other heart issues is a known benefit of dental sleep medicine. Studies show that hypertension is greater in people experiencing sleep problems. Sleep medicine treatments can help make an individual healthier.
- Sleep apnea causes breathing pauses up to 90 times every hour. The brain recognizes each pause. It then resets the body by waking it up. A person experiencing this disorder will not have a restful night’s sleep. Dental sleep medicine allows an individual to feel refreshed the following day.
- Research also shows that deadly diseases develop in people suffering from sleep apnea. Treating diseases and sleep apnea can make the person feel better. Dental sleep medicine treatment prevents many fatalities in communities going through sleep disturbances.
- Studies show that disturbances in sleep can increase a person’s risk of developing depression or prostate cancer. Sleep medicine treatment can help treat these serious illnesses.
- Most people who do not sleep well or enough tend to develop diabetes. Researchers emphasize the importance of sleep in people with diabetes. People suffering from sleep disturbances have a difficult time with blood glucose regulation. Sleep medicine treatments can improve a person’s insulin resistance.
Dental sleep medicine can help you get a good night’s sleep
There is nothing more satisfying than having a good night’s sleep. Yet, sleep-disordered breathing is a big chunk of potentially disruptive turn of events that make you unable to do so. With dental sleep medicine, you can enjoy the nirvana of a good night’s sleep. Dentists and their oral appliance theory can help you bring back the feeling of pure relaxation. Consult your dentist for dental sleep medicine if you think you need treatment.
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