Sleep Apnea


Did You Know?

In a 2021 ADA survey, more than 70% of dentists saw a rise in the number of patients grinding and clenching their teeth.

Source: American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute, news release, March 02, 2021

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a medical condition in which you start and stop breathing as you sleep. While there are many types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common and typically includes snoring. Beyond a CPAP device, a mouthpiece that can push your lower jaw forward may be a treatment.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea.

The main types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax
  • Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, which occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea
Sleep Apnea wife with pillow and husband snoring alternate photo

Treatments available:

Oral appliances. Another option is wearing an oral appliance designed to keep your throat open. CPAP is more reliably effective than oral appliances, but oral appliances might be easier to use. Some are designed to open your throat by bringing your jaw forward, which can sometimes relieve snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea.

A number of devices are available from your dentist. You might need to try different devices before finding one that works for you. Once you find the right fit, you’ll need to follow up with your dentist repeatedly during the first year and then regularly after that to ensure that the fit is still good and to reassess your signs and symptoms.

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