Obstructive sleep apnea, also called OSA, is one of the most common sleep disorders and many individuals aren’t even aware they have it. This condition causes interruptions to a person’s breathing during sleep, resulting in snoring and poor sleep quality. Sleep apnea sufferers often feel fatigue throughout the day, as well as other symptoms such as headaches.
When people think of sleep apnea, they may not immediately think of dentistry. However, dentists are often able to catch early signs of this and other sleep disorders. Additionally, custom oral appliances, such as those we create with the Vivos System®, can treat mild to moderate OSA.
More information about the link between sleep apnea and dentistry:
>Early Signs of Sleep Disorders
Many of the symptoms of sleep apnea that people are most aware of don’t seem to be directly related to dentistry. However, dentists can catch other symptoms with a thorough examination of your oral health. For example, bruxism (teeth grinding) can be a sign of sleep apnea.
One thing to be aware of is that your dentist cannot diagnose sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. This can only be done after a sleep study. However, if your dentist notices wear that is consistent with grinding, they may also follow-up questions about your sleep. If they suspect sleep apnea could be causing your grinding, they may suggest that you undergo a sleep study.
As a Vivos dentist, we can help you find a Vivos-approved doctor to complete a sleep study if you are concerned about sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Another link between dentistry and sleep apnea is that a custom oral appliance can help treat certain types of sleep apnea. These devices work by correcting craniofacial development deficiencies that contribute to sleep apnea. With the Vivos System, your device will be customized based on a thorough analysis of the hard and soft tissues that make up your airway.
Benefits of Vivos
The most common method for treating sleep apnea is currently continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP). However, CPAP machines are noisy and patients often don’t keep up with treatment. CPAP also does not fix the root cause of sleep apnea, so the symptoms will return if you stop using the machine.
The Vivos System, on the other hand, actually corrects the issues that lead to OSA. After the treatment period (which can last between 12 and 24 months), most patients do not require further intervention. The custom oral appliance is also painless and simple to use.
Your Vivos Dentist in Oro Valley, AZ
If you are suffering from mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea, Smith Dentalworks can help. Our highly-skilled dentist will work with a multidisciplinary team of Vivos-approved professionals to create a customized oral appliance to treat your sleep apnea.