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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.

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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

3 Effective Sleep Apnea Dental Treatments

by April Myers

Sleep is vital for good health. When you don't get enough sleep, you will find yourself groggy and irritable. Poor sleep quality can affect your physical and mental performance, which may even put your job at risk over time. If you wake up feeling exhausted in the morning, no matter how much sleep you've gotten, you may be suffering from sleep apnea.

People with sleep apnea cannot breathe properly during the night. This can lead to patients waking up constantly. Sleep apnea can even be life-threatening in some cases. Whether you have mild or severe sleep apnea, treatment is essential. Fortunately, your dentist can treat your condition. Here are three highly effective sleep apnea dental treatments:

1. Tongue-Restraining Device

Dentists primarily treat sleep apnea through the use of oral appliance therapy. A lax tongue can cause sleep apnea. If a person's tongue goes lax while they sleep, it can fall backward and obstruct their airway, hindering their ability to breathe. A tongue-restraining device will keep the tongue where it belongs. Your dentist can prescribe a tongue-restraining device for you to wear while you sleep.

2. Mandibular Advancement Device

A mandibular advancement device (MAD) is another type of oral appliance therapy. The MAD is a type of mouthguard that is placed in the mouth before bed. It adjusts the position of your jaw, pushing it forward to increase the amount of space available at the top of your airway. A proper MAD is fitted to your mouth and custom-made by a dentist. MADs have the added benefit of preventing nighttime bruxism for people who habitually grind their teeth at night.

3. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine

CPAP machines can also be highly effective in treating sleep apnea. A CPAP machine blows air through a tube into a patient's nose. The air pressure provided through this method holds the patient's airway open while they sleep. A mask is worn over the nose and mouth to facilitate this process. Some patients find wearing a CPAP machine uncomfortable at first, but many come to value it since it enables them to get a better night's sleep.

Speak to your dentist about the options available to you. Your dentist will select a sleep apnea dental treatment that is right for your situation. Based on your symptoms and the severity of your sleep apnea, your dentist may prescribe a combination of treatments. You deserve to sleep well at night. Fortunately, your dentist can help you make that goal a reality.

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