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Contact Us: (949) 493-9311

Patient Reviews

Meet Dr. Johnson

Smile Gallery

Meet The Team

(949) 493-9311

Patient Reviews

Meet Dr. Johnson

Smile Gallery

Meet The Team

(949) 493-9311

Patient Reviews

Meet Dr. Johnson

Smile Gallery

Meet The Team



 
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Sleep Apnea

San Clemente Discusses Sleep Apnea

An Unexpected Place to Find a Treatment for Sleep Apnea: Your Dentist


 

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Topics Addressed in this video: Sleep Apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, San Clemente Dentist, Central sleep apnea, Mixed sleep apnea, Sleep Apnea Treatment



Chances are that, if you're reading this, you're just becoming familiar with sleep apnea.  Apnea, from the Greek meaning not breathing, is the medical term for just that — a cessation of normal breathing function.  Sleep apnea, then, is an umbrella term for any of a few different medical conditions that can cause you to stop breathing in your sleep.

Depending on what kind of sleep apnea you have, you may be surprised to learn that your dentist, more so than your General Practitioner, has an inexpensive and effective answer.


The three major kinds of sleep apnea are:


How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

Sufferers of sleep apnea most often find out from their spouses — but if you sleep alone, you might be able to tell from the following symptoms. If you:

You may have recently developed sleep apnea.  If you want to be certain, buy a cheap recording device and record yourself sleeping.  Play it on fast-forward during breakfast and listen for any long pauses in your normal breathing rhythms.


Dentists and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Clearly, unless you have a very special dentist, you wouldn't go to see them for a problem with your central nervous system.  Dentists are, however, quite talented at dealing with problems in the mouth and throat, and that absolutely includes obstructive sleep apnea.

But How?

Dentists have several options for treating obstructive sleep apnea.  The most common is called a 'dental appliance', and is one of several devices that you put in your mouth before sleeping.  Most dental appliances for sleep apnea help force the tongue and mandible forward, which in turn keeps the other soft tissues from collapsing.  Others are designed to fit snugly into the back of your throat and force the pharyngeal tissues to remain separated.  As a side benefit, in addition to preventing obstructive sleep apnea, both of these devices quite perfunctorily prevent snoring as well.

The other major option — only open to those dentists that do reconstructive or plastic surgery — is just that: surgery.  There are a number of options for sleep apnea surgery, ranging from simply eliminating a good amount of the soft tissue in your throat so that there's nothing to collapse to inserting a smaller, less intrusive appliance into your throat that has the effects of the larger appliances but without the discomfort of trying to fall asleep with a big plastic thing in your mouth.


Talk to Dr. Johnson

You should, of course, talk to your family doctor if you think you're suffering from sleep apnea — but like with most things, you shouldn't necessarily take his options as the only ones.  Consult your San Clementer dentist Dr. Eric Johnson as well, and see what he can do for you.  You may find that it's well worth your while.


 

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