Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. In fact, it affects millions of people worldwide. Unfortunately, many often go undiagnosed. It occurs when a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. One wonders: Can sleep apnea be cured? The answer is not quite so clear. However, your dentist may hold the key to a good night’s rest. 

Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?

What is Sleep Apnea?

This disorder comes in two main forms: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea. OSA, the more prevalent type, happens when the muscles in the throat relax excessively. As a result, it can cause a temporary blockage of the airway. Central sleep apnea, less common, results from the brain failing to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.

The Quest for a Cure: Can It Be Done?

While the term “cure” might be a stretch, effective treatments for sleep apnea do exist. Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and positional therapy, can make a big difference. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are commonly prescribed. These machines deliver a stream of air to keep the airway open. But, some find these machines cumbersome. Therefore, many want to find other options. Your dentist can offer you different options to help reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. 

The Role of Your Dentist

Surprisingly, your dentist may play a crucial role in managing sleep apnea. Dentists can provide custom-fitted oral appliances. These devices work by repositioning the jaw or tongue to prevent airway obstruction during sleep.

How Oral Appliances Work

Imagine your jaw as a puzzle piece in the sleep apnea puzzle. Oral appliances tweak that piece just enough to create a seamless fit. These devices reposition the lower jaw and tongue. Therefore, it prevents them from collapsing backward and obstructing the airway. The result? Improved airflow and reduced chances of paused breathing.

Unlike CPAP machines, oral appliances are compact and easy to carry. Therefore, this makes them ideal for travel. Many users find them more comfortable and less invasive than traditional treatments.

With oral appliances, there are no masks, tubes, or surgery required. Oral appliances provide a non-invasive solution to sleep apnea. This makes them an attractive option for those seeking a less intrusive remedy.

Additionally, patients tend to be more compliant with oral appliances due to their ease. Unlike CPAP machines, oral appliances seamlessly integrate into nightly routines. Many people find CPAP machines difficult to adapt to their life. Yet, oral appliances provide few disruptions. 

Working with Your Dentist

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, your first step should be talking with a professional. A visit to your dentist can be a crucial part of this journey. Your dentist can assess your symptoms and recommend a sleep study if necessary. They can help get you the best plan.