You might be surprised to hear that a snoring and/or sleep apnea problem could be treated at your nearby dentist office. Many people rely on an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor to get treatment for their sleep apnea. However, some holistic dentists have begun implementing advanced techniques to relieve sleep apnea symptoms for their clients.
Sleep apnea and snoring can be treated by a dentist through the use of specialized laser treatment called Nightlase. This laser treatment targets specific sections within your airway in a non-invasive, gentle approach. Even better, no chemical treatment or sleeping device is required in conjunction with Nightlase.
To understand how Nightlase can help with snoring and sleep apnea, it’s important to also understand some basics of sleep apnea. Our guide below walks you through the definition and causes of sleep apnea along with how Nightlase stacks up against other treatments.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder in which breathing stops and starts multiple times, has a couple of primary causes. The type of sleep apnea that you have will be associated with one of these two causes.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the relaxing of muscles in the back of the throat. As a result of the muscles relaxing, your airway narrows causing you to temporarily stop breathing.
Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to your breathing muscles. Central sleep apnea is more rare than obstructive sleep apnea.
Is Snoring a Sign of Sleep Apnea?
Snoring on its own is typically not a sign of sleep apnea. When snoring is accompanied by other symptoms, sleep apnea is more likely to be present.
Other symptoms that may accompany snoring and signal sleep apnea include:
- Significant & frequent daytime fatigue
- Observable periods where breathing stops during sleep
- Sore throat when waking up
- Chest pain during the evening
- Headaches in the morning
If no other symptoms are present, snoring may simply be a result of other factors including congestion, certain medications, and alcohol consumption.
How Dangerous Can Sleep Apnea be?
As with most medical conditions, the danger of sleep apnea will depend on the severity of the symptoms. Although rare, severe symptoms can cause death. More often though, sleep apnea acts as a gateway to other health related issues.
Individuals with sleep apnea are at increased risk for:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart disease
- Memory loss
- Weight gain
- Type 2 diabetes
To truly understand the potential danger for your specific sleep apnea situation, it’s highly advised to consult with a medical professional.
What Treatments Are Available For Sleep Apnea?
Now for the good news. Sleep apnea is treatable and it’s often possible to eliminate nearly all symptoms. Depending on what your medical professional recommends and how you’d like to proceed, you’ll typically have some options.
Common treatments for sleep apnea include:
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine
- Weight loss
- Adenoid Removal
As noted above, Nightlase, an emerging treatment available at some specialized dentists offices, is opening up a whole new path to treatment.
How Do Nightlase Treatments Work?
Nightlase is a proven laser therapy method used by trained and licensed dentists. Through this treatment, a dentist gently and carefully uses the laser to heat the tissues in your airway that cause snoring/sleep apnea. In turn, your airway is more open allowing you to breathe easier at night and reduce your snoring.
Many individuals that suffer from sleep apnea have gravitated towards Nightlase treatment thanks to its ease and comfortability compared to other treatments. With no surgery, complicated weight loss programs, or bulky & expensive machines, it’s easy to see why Nightlase is becoming increasingly popular.
Get Help With the Best Treatment for Sleep Apnea and also Snoring
Whether you’re at the beginning of your challenges with sleep apnea and snoring or you’ve tried everything and are at your wits end, Smiles by Shields is here for you. We know how difficult sleep apnea can be. Our friendly and experienced staff is available to answer all of your questions.
Our team of professionals are available to talk through your situation and help you determine if Nightlase is an effective sleep apnea solution for you.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you.