If your partner has ever told you that you snore when you sleep, you might have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is a serious medical condition that can negatively affect your health. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, but Dr. Jason Petkevis of Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA offers an alternative treatment to help you have more restful sleep without a CPAP machine.
Q: What causes sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is associated with obesity or being overweight. As the muscles relax during sleep, extra tissues can obstruct the airway, restricting oxygen flow to the rest of the body. It’s not uncommon for the sleeper to wake up several hundred times per night gasping for air or to feel tired during the day and have problems with memory and concentration. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause cardiovascular problems and other diseases.
Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. What treatment can my dentist offer?
Dr. Petkevis offers an oral appliance for you to wear while you sleep, and it keeps the airway open as the muscles relax. The oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to keep the airway open by repositioning the lower jaw, moving it forward to keep soft tissue from collapsing over the airway. Instead of constant airflow like the CPAP, the oral appliance is a less invasive method of keeping the airway open. It’s also sturdy enough to withstand teeth grinding, so if you grind your teeth at night, you can still use it.
Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?
Dr. Petkevis will meet with you for an individual consultation to examine the mouth and design the mouthpiece for you. It does reposition the jaw while you sleep, but since it’s custom-fitted to your mouth, it will fit comfortably with minimal disruption to sleep. Most patients report a reduction in snoring while using the appliance.
Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get it?
What makes an oral device comfortable and effective is how well it’s fitted to the individual patient’s mouth. Dr. Petkevis will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure the device is as comfortable as possible. The last thing we want is for you to stop snoring but wake up with a sore jaw!
Our caring staff at Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA wants to help you get better sleep. Call 610.400.1459 or schedule an appointment online today.