Friday, June 20, 2014

Can the Dentist Help with Snoring or Sleep Apnea?

           More and more people are being diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea than ever before. While snoring can be an indicator that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, there are also a number of other symptoms. The first step should be to consult with your physician to determine if you need to undergo a sleep study. Depending upon the findings of the study and the recommendations of your doctor, you may be eligible for an oral appliance to supplement or replace your CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.
          If snoring is your only issue, there are a number of appliances we can offer to reduce or eliminate the issue. Making a ‘snore guard’ is a non-invasive procedure that requires us taking a number of different impressions of the teeth with your jaw in an altered position. This allows us to dictate how the appliance will fit your jaw to limit your snoring. By pulling the lower jaw forward the correct amount we can help open the airway and help you and your significant other sleep better.
         If you are in search of another option to supplement or replace your CPAP machine, there are times when an oral appliance can be used. However, I believe it is always a good idea that we consult with your physician before making an appliance to help with sleep apnea. Each case of sleep apnea is different, and there are times when it may be appropriate for us to try and there are times where it may not. But much like the snore guard, we can fabricate the appliance with a series of impressions with the lower jaw in an altered position. Once it has been made, we will make the necessary adjustments to achieve the best possible results and we may even recommend another sleep study to verify its effectiveness.

          If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea and you are looking for a solution, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with us. We can help evaluate your situation and determine if there is an oral appliance that may help. However, I strongly discourage anyone from using over the counter products because of the potential harm that can be done to your jaw if not properly used.

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Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.

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