How We Help Patients With Sleep Apnea

Some 18-30 million people suffer from sleep apnea in the United States, according to estimates. Not only does sleep apnea keep them from getting a good night’s rest, it may lead to larger health problems. While traditional treatments involve a large, clunky device called a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, we’ve had great success with less obtrusive solutions.

At DC Dental Spa, under the experienced direction of Dr. Rex Hoang, we want to ensure that our Washington, DC-area patients have access to the latest treatments for great dental — and overall — health. As part of our comprehensive services, we offer innovative treatments for sleep apnea, helping you breathe a little easier at night.

Here’s a look at some of the ways we’ve successfully resolved sleep apnea in our patients.

Sleep apnea 101

If you’re reading this, the odds are that you’ve either been diagnosed with sleep apnea or you suspect you may have a problem. Unfortunately, a large number of people with sleep apnea are unaware that they have the condition, mainly because the symptoms come on during sleep.

There are two main types of sleep apnea — obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea — and the lion’s share of diagnoses are OSA. With OSA, the soft tissues at the back of your throat relax while you sleep, obstructing your airways. This causes you to wake time and again throughout the night, as your brain rouses you just enough to get you to breathe normally and get oxygen.

Not only does OSA lead to poor sleep, it can also be a factor in more serious issues like cardiovascular disease, poor dental health, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, and diabetes.

Traditionally, doctors have turned to a machine called a CPAP, which keeps your airways open while you sleep. While effective, this solution is fairly obtrusive and requires a bit of planning and accommodation, which is why we offer more convenient treatment options.

How we treat sleep apnea

While we don’t dispute the great results a CPAP machine delivers, our goal is to offer our clients alternative solutions that garner the same results, without the hassle of a cumbersome, plug-in device. To that end, we offer the following treatments for sleep apnea:

Oral appliances

To remedy sleep apnea, we offer two different oral devices, which look and feel much like mouthguards. The first is called a mandibular advancement device, which applies gentle pressure to your lower jaw to keep it forward and down so that your airways remain open.

The second oral appliance is called a tongue retaining device, which works by holding your tongue in place while you sleep. This frees up your airways for easier breathing throughout the night.

Rapid maxillary expansion

This is an orthodontic treatment we offer in which we insert a type of screw into your upper teeth to reduce the pressure in your nose, which improves your breathing. 

Neuromuscular therapy 

If your sleep apnea is associated with a TMJ disorder, we’ve found that neuromuscular therapy can greatly help treat both your sleep apnea and your TMJ pain. The goal behind this therapy is to relax your jaw muscles. 

If you’d like to learn more about remedying your sleep apnea, please give us a call at 202-871-3228 or use our easy online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

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