At first, it might not seem like the dentist’s office should be high on the list of places to go to get better sleep if you suffer from sleep apnea. But with sleep apnea being a disorder of the mouth, the dentist office is one of the best places to go to start treatment of your sleep apnea. From many cases, sleep apnea can be addressed largely by your dentist. Take a look at how a Nashville area dentist can help you get better sleep and make sleep apnea less of a factor in your life.

What Causes Sleep Apnea

To understand how your dentist can treat sleep apnea, let’s start with a look at what this sleep disorder is exactly. There are two primary types of sleep apnea: “obstructive” and “central” sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure of the brain to communicate with muscles that control a person’s breathing, which causes that person to wake up intermittently at night, short of breath.

With obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form, the throat muscles and neighboring soft tissue relax too much while alseep and obstruct the airways. The obstruction causes the person to snore or gasp loudly, as their brain wakes up to tighten the throat muscles and open the airways in response to the low oxygen intake. This is the form of sleep apnea your dentist can best treat.

Custom Mouthguards from Your Dentist

Mandibular advancement devices are specialized mouthguards that shift the jawbone forward to let more air into the airways, even when a person is completely relaxed during sleep. Typically, the lower mandible, the lower jawbone, is jutted forward by a mouthguard to create more separation between the upper and lower soft tissue areas in the back of a person’s throat.

Because dentists are doctors who specialize in oral health, your dentist is perfectly equipped to create a mouthguard customized for your mouth specifically. Your dentist will also understand how your mouthguard might impact other oral health issues you may be facing.

Get More Answers to Your Questions About Sleep Apnea

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