The Secret to a Good Night’s Sleep May Begin at the Dentist

Sleep, glorious sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential for overall health and wellness. When you are rested, you are more productive, positive, and feel better. Yet, the average adult in the U.S. feels tired three out of seven days a week. Poor sleep quality is cited by many as the reason. Coffee can only take you so far. If you or someone you love is having trouble sleeping, it is critical to understand the cause so a solution can be implemented. 

One cause of poor sleep is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be a serious health condition as breathing stops and starts while sleeping, unconsciously. Snoring and feeling unrested after waking in the morning are indicators of possible sleep apnea. 

The two most common types of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax or the tongue falls back into the airway, obstructing airflow. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t send the correct signal to the brain to take a breath. The third type of sleep apnea is complex sleep apnea syndrome, which is when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. 

There are a variety of symptoms associated with sleep apnea. The most common include:

  • snoring
  • stopping breathing while sleeping
  • waking with a dry mouth
  • excessive sleepiness
  • Irritability or other personality changes
  • gasping for air while sleeping
  • daytime sleepiness
  • difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • frequent morning headaches

Treatments for sleep apnea include positive airway pressure devices, such as CPAP, which is possibly the most widely known. However, CPAP isn’t for everyone. The cause of sleep apnea may be the position of the jaw, which can cause an airway obstruction while sleeping. 

Enter the dentist and the mandibular advancement device. Similar to a mouth guard, mandibular advancement devices reposition the jaw while sleeping to allow normal breathing. They work fast, and people who begin using these devices start sleeping better in just a few days.  A mandibular advancement device can be slowly and incrementally adjusted until the desired position is found. A bonus of a mandibular advancement device is that it stops snoring! Now your partner can sleep better too! 

In our Bend OR dentist office, we custom make mandibular advancement devices to the unique specifications of the patient. To ensure our patients have success – and because we wholeheartedly believe in the significance of quality sleep – Dr. Chelsea and Dr. Mike Longlet monitor their sleep apnea patients’ progress in coordination with a sleep physician. 

If you would like to learn more about the mandibular advancement device available at Mill Point Dental or if you would like to be evaluated for sleep apnea, schedule an appointment today. We want to help you feel the very best and know that a good night’s sleep is essential for achieving this.