Erika Mendez, DDS
Cosmetic & General Dentist located in Irving, TX
Do you snore loudly, wake multiple times throughout the night, or feel groggy all day despite “sleeping” the recommended 7-9 hours per night? You may have obstructive sleep apnea, a condition characterized by interruptions in your breath as you sleep. Erika Mendez, DDS, and her team at Skyview Dental in Irving, Texas, offer alternatives to the loud, bulky machines often recommended to treat this condition. To find out more about dental devices that help with sleep apnea, schedule an appointment online or call the office.
Sleep Apnea Q&A
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles and soft tissue, like your tongue and soft palate, relax during sleep and close off your airway. Your brain senses that you don’t have a sufficient air supply and wakes you up so you can open your airway.
These repeated stops and starts that occur as you sleep can repeat 5-30 times each hour, leading to poor sleep quality and other health complications. You may not even be aware they’re happening, but they affect your sleep status and health nonetheless.
Why do people develop sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea doesn’t have one cause; it can develop due to a number of different issues, including:
- Nasal congestion and allergies
- Alcohol and sedatives
- A genetically narrowed airway
- Older age
Dr. Mendez can help determine if something to do with your oral or skull structure is causing your sleep apnea and offer solutions.
What are the treatments for sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is often treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy and lifestyle changes. Oral appliances can help if you have mild to moderate symptoms or if you have severe sleep apnea that just cannot tolerate a CPAP machine. CPAP machines are bulky and loud. They aren’t very portable either.
Dr. Mendez collaborates with your physician or sleep specialist to help with your customized care plan. She’ll do a thorough examination of your teeth, tongue, jaw, and airway. Your screening may include digital X-rays to evaluate underlying structures.
A dental appliance to treat sleep apnea supports your jaw in a forward position so your upper airway remains open. This device helps improve your sleep patterns, leads to decreased snoring, and reduces the inflammation associated with sleep apnea.
How is an intraoral device for sleep apnea created?
The team at Skyview Dental uses digital or physical impressions of your teeth to customize the fit of your intraoral device. These impressions are sent to a laboratory that constructs the device. Dr. Mendez adjusts the fit for comfort and schedules regular check-ins to see how the device is working for you.
Call Skyview Dental today to learn more about dental treatments for sleep apnea. You can also use the online booking agent to schedule.