You might suspect sleep apnea because of daily impacts like waking up unrested or tired throughout the day. Or you might be concerned about health risks like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and more. People with sleep apnea often seek a sleep doctor, but there are also good reasons to get treatment for your condition from a sleep dentist. 

At the Michigan Head & Neck Institute, we offer many advantages for people seeking treatment for sleep apnea. Here are some reasons to see a sleep dentist for sleep apnea treatment.

Learn about Treatment Alternatives

Sleep doctors are highly likely to prescribe CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) for your sleep apnea. Sometimes, a sleep doctor will mention lifestyle changes and home care that can help make CPAP more effective. Others might recommend surgical treatment for your sleep apnea. 

However, many sleep doctors overlook oral appliance therapy as a treatment alternative. They may not even mention it, and most don’t recommend it, even though it can be as effective as CPAP–and sometimes more effective. 

You often have to talk to a sleep dentist to learn about oral appliance therapy as a sleep apnea treatment option. They will explain how the treatment works and whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure.

You Have TMJ or Experience TMJ Symptoms

It’s common for people to have both sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD). Sleep apnea treatment has the potential to worsen existing TMJ or cause TMJ in people who do not have it. Sleep doctors often ignore this risk and don’t understand that CPAP can be hard on the jaw joint. 

If you have TMJ or TMJ symptoms, talking to a sleep dentist can help you get treatment that will protect your jaw from adverse effects. If that is, a sleep dentist is also trained in TMJ treatment.

You Don’t Want to Try CPAP

For many people, CPAP is just an unpleasant concept. You strap on a mask attached to a hose supplied by an air pump, forcing air down your throat. Your movement will be restricted. The mask can be uncomfortable. The pump can cause noise. Plus, you must keep a lot of equipment by your bedside and maintain it daily. 

Maybe it’s not as bad as it sounds, but perhaps you’d rather not find out–if you have a choice. A sleep dentist can tell you if you might get good results from oral appliance therapy so you don’t have to mess around with CPAP.

You Have Mild or Moderate Sleep Apnea

One reason why people don’t stick with CPAP is that it seems like too much work for their level of symptoms. If you have mild or moderate sleep apnea, and your daily symptoms don’t feel too severe, you might find yourself in this situation. 

Oral appliance therapy works great for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Plus, it’s comfortable and convenient, so it’s less of a sacrifice. This might make it a better fit for your sleep apnea.

You Aren’t Adapting to CPAP

CPAP is an effective sleep apnea treatment for people who use it regularly. However, only about half of people prescribed CPAP use it long-term. If you can’t adapt to CPAP, you shouldn’t let your sleep apnea go untreated. Instead, talk to a sleep dentist about a CPAP alternative that might work better for you.

You Want a Travel-Friendly Sleep Apnea treatment

Even if you adapt well to using CPAP at home, you might not find it a good treatment when you travel. A CPAP machine includes a pump, hose, mask, cleaning equipment, and other equipment that helps you sleep comfortably. This can be a nuisance to transport on an airplane, including getting through security and finding a place to stash it on the plane. 

Then, you have to set up CPAP at your destination, which requires a convenient outlet and bedside table. Not every hotel room will make this easy, and even guest rooms in a house won’t always accommodate your CPAP machine. Not to mention that if you’re going out of the country, you’ll need power adapters–and if you’re going someplace off the grid, you’ll need another solution. CPAP requires extensive daily cleaning, so you might have trouble if you don’t have access to clean tap water. 

It’s easy to travel with oral appliances. They fit in your pocket. There’s no trouble in security or on the plane. At your destination, you require nothing to set up your appliance. Not a bedside table. Not an outlet. Even your clean water demands for cleaning an oral appliance are minimal.

If you travel a lot, getting oral appliance therapy as your primary or backup sleep apnea treatment is worth it.

Talk to a Sleep Dentist Today

If you have or suspect sleep apnea, there are many good reasons to talk to a sleep dentist. The Michigan Head & Neck Institute in Warren, MI, can help if you’re in the Detroit area. Please call (586) 573-0438 or use our online form today to request an appointment.