Sleep Apnea Treatment Alternatives From Your General Dentist

Do I Have Sleep Apnea Metairie, LA

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can affect people of all ages. Untreated, it can impair your life and even cause death. If you are struggling with this dysfunction, your first thought might be to see a doctor. While this is a viable option, your general dentist can help too. Dentists are trained to help patients control and overcome this condition. Though the methods are different when a dentist helps, the results can be positive.

Understanding the condition

Sleep apnea occurs when an individual stops breathing while asleep. The breathing can stop for as little as a few seconds to several minutes. Some patients with this condition stop and start breathing throughout the night. There are three types of this illness: obstructive, central, and complex.

Obstructive sleep apnea is when something restricts air from moving through the airway into the lungs. This happens when the throat muscles relax or when the tongue blocks the airway. With the central type, the brain fails to send signals for the person to breathe effectively. Complex is a combination of the two.

The signs and symptoms

Before a patient speaks to the dentist about sleep apnea, there will be clues that the condition is causing problems. People with this dysfunction often snore or gasp for air while asleep. People who suffer from it may feel groggy throughout the day. Headaches, irritability, and difficulty focusing are common effects as well.

Getting a tongue suppressor

While a doctor’s first line of defense against sleep apnea is usually a CPAP machine, the dentist will take a different approach. The dentist will first examine the patient and ask a series of questions about their symptoms. If the dentist diagnoses the patient with this condition, a tongue suppressor could be an effective way to treat it. This appliance can hold the tongue in place, keeping it from moving toward the roof of the mouth and blocking the flow of air. The dentist can custom-make a suppressor and instruct the patient to wear it each night.

Wearing a mouthguard

Another common treatment against sleep apnea is a mouthguard. This appliance pushes the jaw forward, controlling snoring. This can also help correct the obstructive form of the disease. Before getting the device, the dentist will make impressions of the person’s mouth. This will help ensure that it fits properly.


In more serious cases, the general dentist may recommend surgery. An oral procedure can remove excess tissue that may be getting in the way of the airway. Surgery may also correct jaw dysfunctions that are inhibiting the breathing. The dentist can perform the surgery or may also enlist the help of other dental professionals to help.

You do not have to live with sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is nothing you should ignore or put off treating. Even mild cases can affect your physical and mental health. If you do nothing to improve your condition, you could eventually suffer a heart attack or stroke. To effectively treat it, talk to your dentist. Your dentist can try various methods to solve this challenge.

Request an appointment here: or call Charvet Dental Center at (504) 208-4751 for an appointment in our Metairie office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea in Metairie, LA.

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