A dental crown can be the perfect way to restore a smile to its former glory. In the event of a tooth with extensive damage, discoloration, or some other factor that makes it painful or unsightly, a dental crown is a great restorative solution.A dental crown can not only correct cosmetic imperfections but can also…
Dental Treatments to Consider After a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
Living with sleep apnea can be a scary prospect. Even mild cases can lead to serious health concerns. Fortunately, you can find relief from this condition. Your dentist can help you overcome the effects of nighttime breathing disruptions. With either surgery or mouth appliances, you can once again enjoy a good night’s rest and breathe normally.
A brief understanding of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when an obstruction blocks a person’s airway while they sleep. This can cause the individual to stop breathing for a few seconds or even as long as a minute or more. Nighttime snoring is often a good indication that the person has this condition. It often affects obese people. Patients with a narrow airway or those who smoke are prone to this disorder. This health concern can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.
For many sleep apnea patients, the dentist is the first person who detects the condition. The dentist also has the knowledge and training to treat the effects of it. A removable mouthguard can help open the person’s airway and promote effective breathing throughout the night. It works by pushing the jaw forward and creating more room for air to enter and exit the mouth and nose. The mouthguard can also hold the tongue in place, preventing it from moving back into the mouth and blocking the flow of air.
The dentist may refer the patient to a dental professional who specializes in soft palate surgery. This procedure takes out excess tissue in the throat to widen the airway. The dental surgeon may remove parts of the soft palate and tonsils as well. In many instances, the dentist may combine this procedure with others in the airway.
In advanced cases of sleep apnea, the dentist may have to reposition the entire jaw. Known as maxillomandibular osteotomy, or MMO, this process moves the upper or law jaw forward. This creates more room for the patient to breathe. The dental surgeon will cut into the jawbone and adjust the positioning. Healing time can be extensive.
Work on the hyoid bone
This U-shaped bone in the neck can be a culprit for breathing problems. The dentist may identify it as a contributor to sleep apnea. If so, the dentist may pull it forward, so it is no longer attached to the tongue and other structures in the mouth. This can also free up more room in the patient’s mouth for effective nighttime breathing.
Consider your options
The consequences of sleep apnea can be significant. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this condition. Treatments can help you breathe normally and enjoy a good night’s rest. Visit with a dentist near you to explore what is available to relieve you of this illness. If your symptoms are serious, the dentist may recommend surgery. Often, wearing a mouthguard will be the first line of defense. Understand these dental treatments so you can make the right decision for your health and wellness.
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