What is Airway Dentistry?
Airway dentistry is the treatment of breathing and sleep disorders through dental interventions. Snoring and sleep apnea are common issues that occur because of a blockage in the airway. The blockage is usually caused by the soft tissues of the mouth and throat that slide back or collapse during sleep. Our team has extensive training in screening for, recognizing and helping to develop a plan to treat sleep and airway dysfunction. This can greatly improve your dental health and quality of life.
Benefits of Airway Dentistry
Dental treatment for snoring and sleep apnea has many benefits:
- Get better quality sleep. When your airway stays open, allowing you to breathe normally throughout the night, you can get better quality sleep without constant interruptions due to breathing issues.
- Identify root causes. Results are long lasting if the underlying problem is addressed instead of simply masking symptoms.
- Have more energy throughout the day. Better quality sleep allows you to feel more energized throughout the day. Avoid the afternoon slump and keep your momentum going all day.
- Addresses teeth grinding. Snoring and sleep apnea are often tied to teeth grinding, which can be damaging to your teeth. Addressing these problems can help minimize this comorbidity.
- Better sleep for your spouse/partner/roommate. Snoring and restless sleep can disturb your partner, spouse, or roommate. By addressing your airway issues you allow them to get better sleep as well.
Are You a Good Candidate for Airway Dentistry?
If you snore, feel tired during the day, or doze off easily, we would love to discuss your specific concerns, potential treatment options and, ultimately, ways we can help. Many patients who snore or have mild sleep apnea that is caused by an obstruction to the airway can benefit from airway dentistry. We can perform an evaluation to determine whether airway dentistry would be a potential solution for you.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, also known as "Myo" or "Myofunctional Therapy" includes retraining muscles of the tongue, lips, and jaw to obtain optimal resting posture. This therapy helps facilitate proper nasal/diaphragm breathing. We utilize OMT in our practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is snoring always a symptom of sleep apnea?
In many cases snoring is a symptom and indication of sleep apnea. However, in some cases a person may snore without having sleep apnea. A person may also have sleep apnea and not snore. Snoring is caused by vibrations of the soft tissues of the mouth and throat as air passes over them. It indicates that the airway is partially obstructed, but not completely blocked.
Can myofunctional therapy help me even if I don’t have sleep apnea?
Myofunctional therapy is a behavioral intervention to help. Think of it like physical therapy to re-pattern chewing, swallowing and breathing address dysfunctional breathing and tongue movements.
Should snoring be treated?
Snoring is an indication that you are not breathing as freely as you should be. A partial obstruction to your airway can also cause your sleep to be interrupted and prevent you from achieving the highest quality sleep. Our team can discuss your concerns and provide you with valuable information including potential treatment options.