Sleep Apnea in Coeur d'Alene

Sleep Apnea

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Oral Appliances for Patients with Sleeping Disorders

Do you snore? Does your sleep partner seem to choke or stop breathing in his or her sleep? Sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea or chronic snoring should never go overlooked. In fact, they could be a warning sign that something far more serious is about to happen, such as a cardiovascular attack.

Fortunately, Ideal Family Dentistry in Coeur d’Alene has a non-invasive solution that can help you breathe easier without a bulky CPAP machine.

What do Oral Appliances Have to Do with Snoring?

Depending on the type of sleep disorder you’re struggling with, likely there is a reduced amount of oxygen getting to your lungs and other vital organs. This reduced oxygen/air flow may be due a restriction or reduced size of your airway. The restriction develops as a result of the lower jaw falling back and compressing associated tissue against and into your airway. 

For obstructive types of sleep apnea, it may be more beneficial to “treat” the symptoms by preventing them in the first place. Wearing a customized oral sleep appliance can position your lower jaw in a way that prevents airway blockage, allowing maximum oxygen flow.

Oral sleep appliances for those diagnosed with moderate or mild sleep apnea are an excellent alternative for individuals who cannot or refuse to wear a CPAP. In fact, these aids have scientific research supporting their effectiveness. Many have been approved by the FDA to treat and manage sleeping disorders.

Not all physicians are familiar with the use of oral sleep appliances to treat sleeping disorders. We are happy to discuss the option with your provider, upon request.

Oral Symptoms of Sleeping Disorders

Did you know that our dentist can spot warning signs of sleep apnea during your dental exam? Common things that we may notice during your checkup include:

  • Worn, flat teeth
  • Broken fillings or other dental work
  • Abfractions (worn/chipped areas) near the necks of teeth
  • Prominent jaw muscles
  • Large neck circumference
  • High blood pressure

Do I Need a Sleep Study?

Sleep medicine is a strictly regulated area of medicine. But, only a licensed dentist like ours can provide a custom oral sleep appliance. We work closely with your medical doctor, physician, or pulmonologist to determine if an oral appliance is appropriate. If it is, we can move forward with making one.

If you have not had a sleep study or been formally diagnosed with a sleeping disorder, we can arrange for you to have a screening performed at home, or with an area specialist. Once that data is interpreted by a sleep physician, we can work with them to determine whether it is appropriate to make an oral appliance.

What’s Involved in the Treatment?

Having an oral appliance made for a sleep disorder is a relatively straight forward process. After receiving the prescription from your physician, all we need to get started is an impression of your teeth.

With this impression we create a model of your bite.The sleep appliance is then customized to fit your unique anatomical features. We’ll modify it as necessary and show you how to wear it each night. In the beginning, we might ask you to keep a sleep diary to help us better adjust the mouthpiece until the best position is achieved.

Other Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

Please let us know if you are exhibiting any of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue, chronic sleepiness
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Other changes in medical history
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain

Each of these conditions are closely related to sleeping disorders, which if left undiagnosed can lead to additional strain on you respiratory, immune and cardiovascular system.

Wearing a custom oral sleep appliance means you can go without noisy, cumbersome machines at your bedside. For more information on sleep dentistry in Coeur d’Alene, call Ideal Family Dentistry to schedule a consultation.


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