Sleep Apnea Can Be Treated by Your St. Johns Dentist

Often, patients speak to their primary care physician about sleep disorder concerns before being referred to a specialist. Did you know that your St. Johns, Florida dentist can help you get a more restful night of sleep? While dentists can’t officially diagnose sleep apnea, they can play an important role in facilitating treatment.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most prevalent form, accounting for upwards of 80% of sleep-disordered breathing in the country. OSA can often be characterized by the narrowing or collapse of the upper airway while a patient is sleeping, which can be dangerous if left untreated. Dr. Jason Lewis at Bartram Dental Center can screen patients for risk factors such as a large tongue or tonsils, a high-arched palate, and bruxism (teeth grinding) when conducting oral exams.

As a result of sleep apnea, patients may suffer from fatigue, decreased concentration, dry mouth, headaches, and disruptive snoring. If you have a dental appointment coming up, speak to Dr. Lewis about your concerns; he can help you manage symptoms or seek specialized treatment.

Dentistry Appliances Used to Treat Sleep Apnea 

CPAP machines can be a hassle. Not only are they uncomfortable, but they can be effectively useless without power — in the case of hurricanes or when you’re off on a camping adventure! Oral sleep devices can be a lifesaver in these situations and make life a little easier for individuals with sleep apnea.

The Vivos appliance is a revolutionary treatment that has been shown to reduce mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms and help patients get better rest. This non-surgical treatment method uses a daytime-nighttime appliance to apply consistent, gentle pressure to the palate to gradually expand it. The system may also use a mandibular repositioning appliance at night to train the lower jaw into its proper position.

Dr. Jason Lewis is a Vivos-trained dentist who begins treatment with a consultation and diagnostic testing. From this data, a determination can be made on whether the Vivos system might be an appropriate CPAP alternative. The average treatment duration for Vivos is between 12 and 24 months, with periodic checkups to monitor progress and make adjustments when needed to ensure the efficacy of the treatment.

Orthodontic treatment is sometimes beneficial for treating symptoms of sleep disorders, such as in patients with a narrow palate or malocclusion, also referred to as a misaligned bite. Having a “bad bite” can lead to chronic mouth breathing and can contribute to airway obstruction.

Sleep Apnea Solutions in St. Johns, FL

Are you struggling with sleep apnea? If so, our compassionate team at Bartram Dental Center in St. Johns, Florida, welcomes you to give us a call to schedule a consultation. Dr. Jason Lewis is one of the Jacksonville area’s exclusive Vivos system providers and will walk you through sleep apnea solutions that might be right for you.

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