Dental sleep medicine is a specialized field in general dentistry. It applies knowledge on the oral appliance theory for a sleep-disordered breathing treatment. As such, loud snoring and the different types of sleep apnea are examples. Resting is relaxing, yet it becomes irritating when you find yourself drifting away with the loud snoring sound of…
How Does a Dentist Diagnose Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing while they are asleep. This leads to abruptly waking up in the middle of the night, snoring, and other notable symptoms. The good news is thata dentist can help diagnose and treat sleep apnea.
A detailed review of sleep apnea: Causes, diagnosis, treatment, and more
Although millions of people in the United States are diagnosed with OSA every year, many still do not understand exactly what the symptoms are, how it is diagnosed, and the available treatment options. This review provides a general overview from a dentist about sleep apnea diagnosis, treatment, and more.
What are the causes of OSA?
The exact cause of sleep apnea is hard to determine. However, there are risk factors of OSA, such as obesity and genetic and hereditary factors. The dentist will determine the cause of sleep apnea symptoms before providing a diagnosis and treatment recommendation.
Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea
One of the first things that the dentist will do is consider the symptoms that the patient reports. If the symptoms of sleep apnea have developed, it is recommended to visit a dentist for a diagnosis and treatment. Common symptoms of OSA include:
- Waking while sleeping
- Gasping for air
- Daytime sleepiness
- Dry mouth
- Morning headaches
Some of these symptoms could be related to other factors. However, having multiple symptoms that occur regularly is a strong indicator of OSA. The dentist may also consider the risk factors, such as the person’s weight and whether there is a family history of OSA (or its symptoms).
How can a dentist diagnose obstructive sleep apnea?
The dentist can assess the patient’s risk factors and symptoms to determine whether the patient may have OSA. They may also conduct an oral examination to look for structural abnormalities that indicate its possibility. If necessary, they may recommend a polysomnogram, which requires overnight monitoring of the patient’s breathing while they sleep. Taking an at-home sleep test may also be an option.
What are the treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea?
The recommended treatment for OSA depends on the severity of the patient's treatment preference. Dentists often recommend behavioral changes (for mild cases), changes to sleep position, positive airway pressure therapy, and oral appliances, such as a mouthguard. Multiple treatment methods may be recommended for the most effective solution possible.
Get started with obstructive sleep apnea treatment today
If you have symptoms of sleep apnea and want to find long-term relief for your symptoms to get a better night of sleep for you and your partner, do schedule a visit with our team today. We enjoy helping our patients sleep better through sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.
Are you considering sleep apnea treatment in the Marietta area? Get more information at https://www.mytotaldentistry.com.
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