Do I Need a Dental Sleep Specialist?
What is a Dental Sleep Specialist?
If you have symptoms of sleep apnea or have been told you snore on a regular basis – you may need to make an appointment with a sleep specialist. More specifically, you may want to see a dental sleep specialist who can offer oral appliance therapy for the treatment of chronic snoring and sleep apnea.
What are the Benefits of Visiting a Dental Sleep Specialist?
Making an appointment with a dental sleep specialist can serve as the first step in helping to identify the underlying cause of your sleep issues. Your specialist can evaluate things like daytime drowsiness, unexplained headaches, sore throats without accompanying illness, or if your bed partner has shared that you’ve been snoring frequently. If necessary, a sleep study may be advised to confirm a diagnosis or evaluate the severity of your condition.
An accurate diagnosis is the first step to determining an appropriate treatment plan, and the sooner your sleep disturbances subside, the better it will be for your overall health.
Seeing this type of specialist can also be advantageous for patients who may already have a confirmed diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea or who suffer from chronic snoring. Many patients who have been diagnosed and prescribed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) find it challenging to use the treatment device on a nightly basis. These patients are often interested in exploring alternatives to CPAP, which may include oral appliance therapy.
Who Makes a Good Candidate to Schedule a Visit?
Most people struggling with sleep apnea experience loud and consistent snoring. If you are not sure whether you snore, a partner, family member or roommate can usually provide more details about the extent of your snoring.
Intermittent periods of wakefulness are another major sign. You may be only vaguely aware of these brief moments of alertness, which may last just a few seconds in each instance. These incidents are caused by sudden interruptions in breathing during sleep.
People suffering from sleep apnea or chronic snoring will usually report that they do not feel fully rested after a night of sleep – even after setting aside plenty of time in bed. This is due to the constant periods of waking throughout the night, as your body is struggling to get the air you need.
If chronic snoring, periods of wakefulness during sleep, and chronic daytime sleepiness are affecting you, you may be a good candidate to see a dental sleep specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
What Do Dental Sleep Specialists Treat?
Dental sleep specialists focus on treatment of the sleep disorders related to the mouth and airway.
- Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is characterized by intermittent interruptions in breathing during the night. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea, when soft tissue of the mouth or throat blocks the airway during sleep.
- Snoring: Snoring during sleep can occur on its own as a primary disorder or it might appear in tandem with sleep apnea and other conditions. It is usually caused by some form of irregularity or obstruction in the airway – anywhere from the sinuses to the throat.
Dr. Marc Levin is a specially-trained dentist treating sleep apnea and its symptoms using oral appliance therapy. If you are looking for a non-surgical treatment option to address your snoring or sleep apnea, or want to be evaluated for these conditions, contact eos dental sleep today to make an appointment. An evaluation is the first step to helping you achieve the restful night’s sleep you need to function at your best.