How do Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea?

Las Cruces Dental Solutions, your trusted dental practice in Las Cruces, New Mexico, recognizes the growing concern of sleep apnea affecting more than 25 million American adults, as reported by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. As the numbers continue to rise, our dedicated team collaborates with healthcare professionals to develop effective treatments for this prevalent sleep disorder.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep, with up to 20 to 30 pauses per hour, each lasting 10 seconds or longer. It can affect individuals of all ages and genders, though it is more common in men. The three types of sleep apnea include obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea, each with distinct causes and characteristics.

Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to various health issues, such as daytime sleepiness, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. The interruptions in breathing prevent the body from achieving deep, restorative sleep, impacting overall well-being.

Dental Sleep Medicine at Las Cruces Dental Solutions

Our commitment to comprehensive healthcare extends to dental sleep medicine, a specialized field focused on treating sleep apnea and loud snoring. Our dentists collaborate with medical professionals to develop personalized treatment plans, addressing sleep issues with oral appliances, also known as dental appliances, in conjunction with CPAP therapy.

Types of Dental Appliances

Las Cruces Dental Solutions offers two main types of dental appliances for sleep apnea: mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and tongue-retaining mouthpieces. MADs resemble athletic mouth guards and help keep the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward during sleep. Tongue-retaining mouthpieces are beneficial for individuals with restricted jaw flexibility, preventing the tongue from sliding backward into the airway.

The Role of Dentists in Sleep Apnea Treatment

Our dentists play a crucial role in the comprehensive treatment of sleep apnea. The process begins with a thorough review of the patient's medical history, symptom identification, and a referral to a doctor for evaluation and diagnosis. Upon return to our dental practice, a sleep medicine dentist assesses whether oral devices could effectively treat sleep apnea. Throughout the treatment journey, continuous communication with healthcare providers ensures the monitoring of patient progress.

Choosing the Right Treatment

While CPAP therapy is often the primary treatment for sleep apnea, Las Cruces Dental Solutions provides alternative options. Oral devices, such as MADs and tongue-retaining mouthpieces, can be recommended for those with mild sleep apnea. It is essential to consult with our sleep medicine dentist, who works closely with healthcare providers, to determine the most effective treatment plan tailored to individual needs.

Avoid Over-the-Counter Solutions

Las Cruces Dental Solutions emphasizes the importance of seeking professional guidance and avoiding over-the-counter devices for sleep apnea treatment. These products may provide temporary relief, such as reducing snoring, but they often lack the efficacy required to address the underlying apneas occurring during sleep.

Embark on Your Restful Night’s Sleep

Initiate your journey towards a restful night's sleep by visiting Las Cruces Dental Solutions today. Our sleep medicine dentist, in collaboration with your healthcare providers, will diagnose your sleep disorder and create a personalized treatment plan to improve your overall well-being. Trust in our expertise to provide the best treatment options for sleep apnea, ensuring a healthier and more revitalized you.

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We look forward to meeting you. Please Call (575) 527-4746 or request an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.

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