Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Helping treat snoring and sleep apnea at the dentist

            More and more people are becoming aware that they suffer from sleep apnea. While snoring can be an indicator, there are also other symptoms your physician or dentist may worry about. Step one should be to consult with your physician to determine if you need a sleep study. Depending on the findings 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 you were unable to tolerate using it every night.
            When snoring is the only issue, there are some appliances we offer to reduce or eliminate the snoring. Fabricating a ‘snore guard’ is a non-invasive procedure that requires taking different impressions of the teeth with your jaw in a slightly altered position. This helps us to dictate how the appliance will fit your jaw to limit your snoring. By pulling the lower jaw forward we can help pull the tongue forward, open the airway, and help you and your significant other sleep better.
            If you are in search of an option to supplement or replace your CPAP machine, there are times when an oral appliance can be used. However, I believe it is important to consult with your physician before making an appliance to help with sleep apnea. Each case is different, and there are times when it may be appropriate for us to try an oral appliance. But there are times where it may not be a good idea. 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, adjustments will typically be necessary to achieve the best possible results. After the corrections have been made, we will recommend another sleep study to verify its effectiveness.
            If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea and you are looking for a solution, please let us know about your concerns. We can help evaluate your situation and determine if there is an oral appliance may be a good option for you. However, I strongly discourage anyone from using over the counter products because of the potential harm that can be done to your jaw joint if not properly used.

For more information, visit

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc. 

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