Sleep Apnea Treatment for Patients in Dexter, Michigan

Dentist examines patient with dental assistant

Do you snore at night? If so, this could be a sign of a more serious problem. Sleep apnea leaves patients with daytime fatigue and an increased risk for more serious diseases. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines can provide relief, but not all patients can tolerate these devices. At Dexter Family Dentistry, we’ve expanded our expertise of family dental services to include dental treatment options for sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

A common sleep disorder, sleep apnea makes it more difficult to breathe while we sleep. Some patients experience obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the upper airway becomes blocked multiple times throughout the night, thus limiting or restricting airflow. The condition is often hereditary but may also occur due to issues that affect the shape of the face, larger-than-average tonsils, higher body weight, tobacco and alcohol use, aging, and other factors.

Common sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping during sleep
  • Apnic events, or pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Trouble remaining asleep
  • Fatigue during the daytime
  • Problems with concentration
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Headaches when waking
  • Sexual dysfunction and decreased sexual desire
  • Frequent need to urinate during the night
  • Irritable moods
  • Poor memory

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms or a bed partner mentions your snoring and gasping, you should see a physician immediately! Eventually, they may refer you to a dentist with experience in sleep medicine. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a host of dangerous health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, chronic acid reflux, and more.

A Dental Alternative to CPAP

While CPAP machines offer the most effective treatment, they can be difficult for some to wear. Surgery may also be an option but presents side effects and varying levels of success. As an alternative, Dexter Family Dentistry now offers patients oral appliance therapy, a more comfortable way to address sleep apnea.

Oral appliance therapy relies on custom-made dental device that is worn inside the mouth while you sleep. They ensure your jaw remains in a forward position throughout the night, keeping your airway open and making it easier to breath. These devices are comfortable and simple to care for. They’re also easy to take on the go while you travel and won’t disrupt you or your sleeping partner with noise. Over time, consistent use will help you feel more rested and improve your overall health.

Our Sleep Apnea Treatment Process

The first step to sleep apnea treatment begins with your medical doctor. After a thorough medical exam, review of your symptoms, and a sleep evaluation, they can determine the cause of your snoring and may recommend oral appliance therapy.

When you visit our office, we will explain how oral appliances work and why they could be the right choice for your sleep apnea treatment. We’ll perform a thorough examination of your teeth, tongue, jaw, and mouth anatomy to understand the potential cause of your apnea. If needed, we will recommend the correct oral appliance for your situation and create impressions of your teeth. These will be sent to a dental lab and guide the creation of your oral appliance.

At a second appointment, we’ll adjust your appliance to ensure a comfortable fit. You’ll also learn how to care for your device and keep it clean for worry-free use. Finally, we’ll schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure your appliance works as expected. Should you have questions or concerns at any time, our team is always available to provide the support you need to make the most of your sleep apnea treatment.

Learn More About Sleep Apnea Treatment

If you’ve experienced symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea or been referred by a physician for oral appliance therapy, schedule an appointment with Dexter Family Dentistry today. We’re proud to offer sleep apnea treatment for adult patients of all ages in Dexter, Michigan, and the surrounding areas. For more information, call 734-426-9000 to speak with a friendly member of our team.