How can a dentist treat sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious systemic condition that affects your entire body. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may have recommended that you use a type of therapy called continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. CPAP therapy involves the use of a mask, which is held in place by straps and connected to tubing that runs to a small machine similar to an air compressor. While you sleep, the machine blows air into your mask, which helps to keep your airway open.
This therapy is often quite effective, but it does have some drawbacks. About 50% of the people who try CPAP therapy ultimately fail it. The noise of the machine, the discomfort of the mask and straps, and the inconvenience of having to carry the device anytime you travel can quickly get old.
Sleep apnea can also be effectively treated using a custom-made night guard. The guard is worn while you are sleeping, and it holds your jaw in a position that allows for unobstructed airflow. Dr. Burgdorf is happy to discuss your sleep apnea diagnosis with you and provide a recommendation as to whether treatment with an occlusal guard is the right choice for you. For more information, call our dental office today at (314) 291-9000!