At Jaline Boccuzzi, DMD, AAACD, PA / JBDentistry, we recognize sleep apnea as a significant health concern that extends beyond disrupted sleep patterns. Our dedicated approach to sleep apnea involves understanding its oral health connections and providing effective, patient-specific treatments.
While CPAP therapy is the gold standard treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy offers a well-tolerated alternative or addition for many patients.
About Sleep Apnea: What to Know
Recurrent shallow breaths during sleep are the hallmark sleep apnea, which is a problem that affects the sleep cycle. These pauses, known as apneas, occur when the airway becomes blocked (Obstructive Sleep Apnea – OSA) or in cases of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or when the respiratory muscles are not activated because the brain did not send the appropriate signals (Central Sleep Apnea). OSA, often associated with dental and oral health issues, is the most common type.
Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The causes of OSA include:
- Physical Obstructions: Excess tissue in the throat, enlarged tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw can physically block the airway.
- Lifestyle Factors: Obesity, smoking, and alcohol use can increase the risk and severity of OSA.
- Other Contributing Factors: Age, gender (more common in males), and genetics also play a role in the likelihood of developing OSA.
In addition to frequent awakenings, morning headaches, daily weariness, and difficulties concentrating, common symptoms include loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, and many awakenings before bedtime.
Dental and Oral Health Connections
A person’s general well-being is correlated with their oral health is an important one sleep apnea. Certain dental conditions, like a large tongue or small jaw, can contribute to the likelihood of developing OSA. At Jaline Boccuzzi, DMD, AAACD, PA / JBDentistry, our team is trained to recognize these oral indicators and has the potential to play a significant part in the early detection process.
Our treatment approach for sleep apnea includes:
- Oral Appliance Therapy: The use of mouth appliances is one of the most successful therapies for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). To maintain an open airway during sleeping, these individualized devices are worn by the patient. In order to prevent obstructions in the airway, they function by moving the jaw or the tongue.
- Lifestyle Modifications: Alongside oral appliances, we recommend the symptoms of sleep apnea can be alleviated by making adjustments to one’s lifestyle, such as reducing one’s weight, avoiding alcohol before going to bed, and giving up smoking.
- Referral to Specialists: For serious instances or when our assessment indicates, we may refer patients to sleep specialists for further evaluation and treatments like CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.
A Comprehensive Approach to Care
At Jaline Boccuzzi, DMD, AAACD, PA / JBDentistry, we believe in a comprehensive approach to treating sleep apnea. We customize our treatments to meet the requirements that are unique during your consultation. We assess not just your teeth and gums, but also your jaw alignment, facial structure, and other factors that could contribute to sleep apnea.
Prevention and education are critical components of our approach. It is essential that you visit your dentist for checkups on a regular basis as they allow us to monitor any changes that might indicate the development or progression of sleep apnea. We also educate patients on the importance of sleep health and the role oral health plays in it.
Our Commitment to Your Health
At Jaline Boccuzzi Dentistry, in order to provide you with comprehensive care that tackles the underlying causes of your sleep apnea, we are devoted to giving it. Our team ensures that you are well-informed, comfortable, and supported throughout your treatment journey.
Sleep apnea is a condition that requires attention and proper management. At Jaline Boccuzzi Dentistry, we are equipped to identify and treat the oral health aspects of sleep apnea.In the event that you are exhibiting signs and symptoms of sleep apnea or have concerns about your sleep health, feel free to give us a call for consultation.