Empowering Sleep Wellness: How Dentists Can Aid in Managing Sleep Apnea

Woman sleeping soundly with smile on her face

Dentists play a significant role in helping with sleep apnea, particularly a type known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax too much during sleep, blocking the airway and leading to disrupted breathing. Dentists who specialize in sleep medicine can provide several treatments and interventions to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. Here are some ways a dentist can help.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Dentists can design and fit custom-made oral appliances, also known as mandibular advancement devices (MADs) or dental devices. These devices are similar to mouthguards and are worn during sleep. They work by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward, which helps to keep the airway open and reduce the risk of airway collapse.

Dentists regularly monitor the effectiveness of custom oral appliances. Adjustments might be needed over time to optimize the treatment’s benefits.

For individuals who find CPAP machines uncomfortable or have trouble adapting to them, oral appliances can be a more comfortable alternative. They are particularly suitable for individuals with mild to moderate sleep apnea.

While oral appliances can be effective for many individuals with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, more severe cases might require other treatments such as CPAP therapy, lifestyle changes, or even surgery. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, it’s important to consult with a sleep specialist to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations.

Call for a Consultation

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Postol. He will create a custom plan for your needs.

Assessment and Diagnosis

Dentists can screen patients for signs of sleep apnea during routine dental check-ups. They may ask questions about sleep patterns, snoring, and daytime sleepiness. If they suspect sleep apnea, they can refer patients to sleep specialists for further evaluation and diagnosis, which may involve sleep studies.

Dr. Postol is a dentist of 30+ years who also specializes in dental sleep therapy. He knows exactly what the signs, symptoms, and treatments are for sleep apnea and is able to help you get better sleep.

Collaboration with Sleep Specialists

Dentists often work in collaboration with sleep medicine specialists, physicians, and other healthcare providers to provide comprehensive care for patients with sleep apnea. They can contribute their expertise in dental and oral health to the overall treatment plan.

In addition to collaboration with other sleep specialists, Dr. Postol is currently the President-Elect of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and has been on the board of directors for 8 years. He is also a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine among other associations. You can be sure that when you visit Dr. Postol, you will also experience results.

Lifestyle Recommendations

Dentists can provide advice on lifestyle changes that can help manage sleep apnea symptoms. These may include weight loss, avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bedtime, and adopting a regular sleep schedule.

Dr. Postol published a book titled Good Night Sleep Right: The Guide to Better Sleep and Health. This book talks about the importance of proper breathing and how to breathe properly while sleeping.

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Sleep Apnea Quiz

If you are not sleeping well and feel that you might have a case of sleep apnea, take the quiz to see if you are at risk of having sleep apnea. Sleep is extremely important to your overall health and a dentist like Dr. Postol can help you get the sleep you need.