Can a dentist help treat my sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder. It is a severe medical condition that is caused by an obstruction in your airway and requires prompt treatment. Sleep apnea is characterized by persistent loud snoring, frequent prolonged pauses in breathing, and choking or gasping sounds.
During sleep, the muscles in your throat relax. For most people, this isn’t a serious problem. However, in some cases this movement closes the airway completely, resulting in difficulty breathing properly. Sleep apnea sufferers often experience pauses in breathing that can occur hundreds of times a night and last as long as several minutes.
Customized Mouth Guard for Sleep Apnea
Until recently, a CPAP mask was the recommended treatment for sleep apnea patients. But many people resist wearing the mask because it can be bulky and uncomfortable. Now there is an easier way – we can customize a simple, comfortable oral appliance for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea and those who can’t tolerate the CPAP mask.
The customized appliance fits over your teeth like a mouth guard, but it is designed to move the lower jaw slightly forward while you sleep. The device prevents the throat from closing up and allows you to breathe freely again.
If your partner complains about your loud snoring or you wake up feeling fatigued, please call our Metairie dental office. Dr. Margaret Patterson will be happy to see if you’re a candidate for our easy, comfortable sleep apnea treatment.