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The Role Of The Dentist In Sleep Apnea

sleep apneaSleep apnea is a common condition in which breathing is interrupted through-out the night. It can happen as a result of narrow airways or collapsed tissues in the throat, and the warning signs are often picked up by dentists, who will rec-ommend that you undergo a sleep study via your doctor.

The following symptoms may indicate that you have sleep apnea:

  • Snoring
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Bruxism, also know as tooth grinding
  • An irritated throat
  • Higher levels of cavities
  • Receding gums
  • A small jaw
  • The shape of the tongue

If you have any of these symptoms, you should talk to your dentist about this. He or she will talk to you about your sleep habits and the possibility of sleep apnea during routine consultations. This can be a serious condition that causes fa-tigue due to poor sleep, and it has been linked with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, so it is important to get symptoms checked out as soon as you can.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

There are a variety of ways to treat sleep apnea, and your treatment plan will de-pend upon the way in which the condition presents. Options include the follow-ing:

  1. Custom dental appliances.
    Many people find relief from sleep apnea with a dental appliance that is worn overnight to control the position of the jaw or the tongue, making the airway wider. Professional dentists will warn against over the counter devices, since these will probably not fit correctly and could cause the problem to worsen. You can talk to your dentist about a custom made device that is designed to fit your mouth exactly.
  2. Surgery to remove obstructions.
    Sometimes sleep apnea is caused by a physical obstruction in the airway, such as polyps in the nose, a deviated septum, boney growths in the mouth, enlarged tonsils or a narrow jaw. Surgery to correct a problem such as these can be very helpful in resolv-ing sleep apnea, and you can discuss these options with your doctor after you have undergone a sleep study.
  3. Lifestyle changes.
    Changes to your diet and lifestyle that involve losing weight and reducing your body fat percentage are likely to have a very positive effect on sleep apnea. This has been enough to resolve the con-dition in some cases, and will also help to protect your general health and decrease your likelihood of developing other serious conditions.

Find A Good Family Dentist In Cork

If you need a good Cork dentist for yourself or your family, visit us at Guiney Dental Clinic. Our team of dentists and dental hygienists are friendly and pro-fessional, and we can help you to protect your teeth and gums for life. Call today on 021-481 0535.


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