Dr. Emily Snapp & Dr. Summer Suttles |
10027 Park Cedar Drive Suite 100 Charlotte, NC 28210

How Our Charlotte Dentists Help Prevent and Treat Sleep Apnea

added on: December 27, 2013

The question of how to treat sleep apnea is not an easy one to answer. For people who suffer from this condition the upper airway closes during sleep, which can lead to disturbed sleep patterns and breathing problems. In some severe cases sleep apnea has even been linked to stroke and serious heart conditions. So for those who have the condition, and who have an official diagnosis after going through all of the sleep apnea exams, it’s important to take treatment seriously. What most people don’t expect though is to find treatment for this condition at a general dentist office.

A New Answer for How to Treat Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is traditionally treated with a CPAP machine. These machines, which are really little more than small air pumps, gently force air into the sleeper’s passageways. This keeps the airways open, and helps mitigate the negative side effects of the condition. However, many sleepers have trouble falling asleep with the mask on, which can result in serious problems from the other side of things.

In response to this it’s possible for patients to go to a general dentist office and to get an oral appliance to help treat the condition. As long as a patient has taken all of the sleep apnea exams and suffers from mild to moderate sleep apnea, it’s possible for a dentist to provide an appliance that will help keep the airways open while that person sleeps. These appliances don’t work in every case, but they do provide significant help to those whose conditions are responsive.

While it’s doubtful that CPAP machines are going to lose their place as the gold standard of sleep apnea treatment any time soon, these dental appliances are a definite way to help many people who have to deal with this condition. Additionally, as dental science explores the uses of dental appliances to treat this condition it’s likely that more and more options are going to become available to those who deal with sleep apnea on a regular basis. What the future holds isn’t known at present, but this condition isn’t going to go away, and all branches of medical science are likely to keep searching for a viable cure to help those who are suffering.