Sleep Apnea Therapy

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes the lack of oxygen intake while sleeping and is usually caused by an obstruction of the airway. This is said to worsen other systemic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, and other heart diseases to name a few. What does a dentist have to do with sleep apnea? A dentist can help with screening and give a definitive diagnosis of its presence. These cases can be referred to a sleep medicine specialist and they are usually placed on a CPAP therapy. There are some instances where patients cannot tolerate the CPAP therapy and the patient is referred to a dentist that is qualified to treat people who have sleep apnea. The dentist can custom fit an oral appliance for the patient as part of the therapy and is used as a mouth guard or a retainer to increase the oxygen flow into the body.