Sleep Apnea & Snoring
So, you might not think “snoring in Birmingham” is a commonly searched issue on the internet, but it’s actually a way more common problem than you might think. This rings true for patients of all ages and backgrounds in life. Unfortunately, sleep apnea can be potentially dangerous and has no boundaries in terms of who it affects and what it can do to your body. Fortunately, you’ve found the dentists and specialists at Luma Dentistry to help you heal.
What is Sleep Apnea?
When we’re talking about sleep apnea, we’re not just referring to snoring. This condition actually causes a person to stop and start breathing repeatedly throughout the night. This is not good for your body, which is specially designed to use this time to rejuvenate and reset. Loud snoring generally occurs during all of this and can leave you feeling exhausted even after you think you got a full night’s sleep. The most common form of this condition is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, sometimes referred to as OSA. It occurs when your airway is blocked and your throat muscles relax creating unwanted, unhealthy side effects on your health.
Why Should I See a Dentist for Sleep Apnea?
It might seem strange to consult with a dentist about snoring and sleeping, but it just so happens that they have extensive training and knowledge about your head and neck. They’ve studied extensively about how all of these parts and pieces need to function in harmony both awake and asleep. One of the first signs of sleep apnea is going to be apparent to your dentist first, and that’s tooth grinding, also referred to as bruxism. Our dentists have the highly-skilled eye needed to spot the effect of grinding, such as extreme wear and damage to your tooth’s precious enamel.
What Can I Expect?
You may be familiar with a CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine that you wear at night to help you breathe better and sleep more soundly. While considered the gold standard in sleep apnea therapy, not everyone can tolerate sleeping in a CPAP mask with about 50 percent of patients opting not to use it.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has recommended oral appliance treatment as the first line of therapy for those suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea. We can fit you with a custom oral appliance that will keep your airways open. Oral appliances are made of smooth plastic and closely resemble a night guard. Studies show up to 95% tolerance of oral appliances and similar effectiveness as CPAP for mild to moderate cases.