Individuals who have sleep apnea experience interrupted breathing again and again during the night, which disrupts sleep and can lead to serious physical and mental health complications. If you’re experiencing daytime sleepiness, chronic snoring, mood disturbances, depression or fatigue, sleep apnea could be the cause. While a primary care physician can diagnose sleep apnea, he or she may refer you to another specialist for treatment such as a sleep apnea doctor or a dentist if you prefer to not wear a CPAP.

man sleep in bed

Dental Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Although you might not immediately connect sleep apnea with oral health, many dentists specialize in treating this condition with appliances designed to keep the airway open as you sleep. 

This device is fitted to the mouth, similar to a retainer or mouthguard, and supports the jaw in a position that facilitates breathing. When searching “sleep apnea doctor near me,” keep in mind that dentists who treat sleep apnea are often certified by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, the American Academy of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry and the American Sleep and Breathing Academy.

The Role of Sleep Specialists

Appliance therapy is most effective for patients who have obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of this condition. Central sleep apnea, which is relatively rare and occurs when the brain fails to signal the body to breathe during sleep, might require the care of a board-certified sleep specialist. These doctors have special training and testing to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.

Surgical Sleep Apnea Treatment

If your sleep apnea doesn’t respond to more conservative treatments such as a dental appliance or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, you may need to see a surgeon. He or she can determine whether a surgical procedure to widen the airway and remove excess skin could resolve your sleep apnea.

For those who will not wear the CPAP mask, call the Michigan Head and Neck Institute at (586) 573-0438. We only treat Sleep Apnea with an oral appliance and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.