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treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea, snoring

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Salisbury Dentist Treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Snoring, with Oral Appliance Therapy

(Salisbury, NC) – Healthy teeth, healthy gums and now…healthy sleep? For those who have never consulted a dentist about treatments for sleep apnea and snoring, it may be time to make an appointment. Dental sleep medicine is a growing segment of dentistry that focuses on managing snoring and sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy (OAT) – an effective alternative to the standard continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and mask. According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), up to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients do not comply with or tolerate CPAP.

“CPAP has maximum benefit for patients only when they are willing and able to use it continuously, and unfortunately some Salisbury-area residents are unable to do so,” said Dr. Hetal Amin-Patel, a Salisbury dentist and member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. “Dental sleep medicine focuses on managing sleep-disordered breathing like snoring and obstructive sleep apnea using oral appliance therapy – a very effective treatment option.”

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) uses a mouth guard-like device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. OAT devices prevent the airway from collapsing by supporting the jaw in a forward position. For many, oral appliance devices are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. The devices are also quiet, portable and easy to care for. Research suggests that oral appliance therapy offers a higher patient compliance rate than CPAP. There are more than 80 different styles of oral appliance devices that have received FDA clearance.

“Dentists trained in dental sleep medicine work in conjunction with a sleep physician and recommend a specific oral appliance device based on a patient’s personal needs,” said Dr. Patel. “The important thing for patients to remember is that effective oral devices are always custom fit by a dentist and may need adjustments over time to ensure maximum effectiveness.”

AADSM recommends oral appliance therapy for people with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Once a patient is diagnosed with primary snoring or obstructive sleep apnea by a board-certified sleep physician, a dentist trained in dental sleep medicine can provide treatment with OAT.

More about Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. OSA occurs when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat, blocking the upper airway. Loud, frequent snoring and daytime sleepiness are common symptoms. If left untreated, sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition that can increase the risk for serious health problems from congestive heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes, obesity, depression and impotence.

If you, or a loved one, suffers from obstructive sleep apnea, go to Beautiful Dentistry’s website: to learn more about oral appliance therapy. Patients with loud snoring and diagnosed sleep apnea sufferers with difficulty tolerating CPAP are encouraged to contact Dr. Patel at (704) 633‑2612 to schedule a consultation appointment. Dr. Patel works closely with sleep physicians to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Beautiful Dentistry is located at 1401 W. Innes Street in Salisbury</a>.

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