Can My Dentist Help With Sleep Apnea?

sleep apnea, stop snoring, oral sleep appliance, lawon and richmon, moAre you — and your partner perhaps — suffering from the effects of snoring. More than just a nuisance, snoring is often a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The most commonly prescribed treatment for OSA is a CPAP machine, but Dr. Kanning can help with an alternative treatment in the form of an oral appliance to wear while you’re asleep.

Q: What causes sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, most commonly stems from obesity carrying excess weight. Certain sleeping positions allow your airway to be obstructed as the muscles relax during sleep, restricting airflow to the rest of the body. The sleeper will awaken multiple times overnight gasping for air, wake up feeling tired, fall asleep during the day, and have issues with memory and concentration.

Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. How does the oral appliance work?

While CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for OSA, an oral appliance offers a similar result. Both offer different ways of holding open the airway during sleep, when the soft tissue in the mouth are more relaxed.

Instead of a constant airflow keeping the airway open during sleep, such as CPAP therapy does, the oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to keep the airway open. The device repositions the bottom jaw, moving it forward to keep the soft tissue from closing over the airway. It’s strong enough to withstand bruxism, or teeth grinding, so even nighttime teeth-grinders can benefit from the device.

Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?

Dr. Kanning meets with patients for an individual consultation where he will examine their mouths and make sure the appliance is fitted correctly and comfortably. The device does reposition the jaw, but it’s designed to fit comfortably inside the mouth with as little disturbance to sleep as possible. Most patients report a decrease in snoring while using the oral appliance, leading to better nights of sleep and happier mornings!

Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get it?

What makes an oral device comfortable and effective is that it is customized to fit the individual patient’s mouth. Dr. Kanning will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure the device is as comfortable as possible. You shouldn’t need to endure jaw pain to stop snoring and sleep better.

Our caring staff at Kanning Dental in Lawson MO wants to help you get better sleep. Call (816) 974-4721 or schedule an appointment online today.