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Dental Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects not only your sleep, but also your overall health and your quality of life. Sometimes, OSA results from bite misalignment. During your initial evaluation at Sleep Birmingham, Dr. Bruce Spink will examine your dental structure and recommend a treatment plan based upon your needs. Dental treatment for sleep apnea at our Birmingham, AL, practice may include crowns, bridges, or traditional orthodontia. We also offer the innovative DNA® (Daytime-Nighttime Appliance) approach, which will gradually widen your dental arch and mid-facial bones, increasing the volume of your airways. Regardless of your treatment plan, at Sleep Birmingham we offer enduring results that can improve your sleep and systemic health for the rest of your life.

The Connection between Bite Alignment and Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when soft tissue structures in the mouth and throat (including the tongue, the adenoids, and the tonsils) block your airways and cause you to wake repeatedly or move out of deeper sleep stages. OSA may result in chronic exhaustion, loud snoring, mood swings, irritability, and many other related symptoms. OSA may also increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

It might be surprising that your bite can affect your sleep cycle. However, misaligned teeth can affect the position of the jaw. This, in turn, impacts the way that soft tissues rest in the mouth. Worn or eroded teeth, an overbite, an underbite, or a proportionately small upper jaw can all contribute to OSA.

Crowns and Bridges

Worn or eroded teeth may change the manner in which the top and bottom dental arches fit together, contributing to sleep apnea. Dental crowns, tooth-shaped restorations that fully cover the tooth, can effectively repair damage and restore balance to your bite, alleviating OSA.

Regardless of your treatment plan, at Sleep Birmingham we offer enduring results that can improve your sleep and systemic health for the rest of your life.

Missing teeth may also increase your risk of sleep apnea. If you have gaps in your smile, your top and bottom teeth will not fit together properly, and soft tissues may slacken and become obstructive as you sleep. A dental bridge will replace missing teeth and balance your bite. A bridge is composed of two crowns which attach to teeth on either side of the gap, and a false tooth or teeth in between.

The DNA® Appliance

Image of DNA appliance system

With the DNA® approach, Dr. Spink can permanently improve the flow of your breath, even when you are not wearing your appliance. The device places gentle pressure on your teeth to widen your upper dental arch and the bones in your mid-face. In this way, the appliance can gradually increase volume in your airways.  If you have a disproportionately small upper dental arch, the DNA® approach may be the best way to treat your OSA. 

Traditional Orthodontia

Traditional braces are another option to treat both dental misalignment and OSA. Braces and orthodontic appliances can reposition the teeth in order to normalize the position of the tongue and other soft tissues. If Dr. Spink determines that braces are the most appropriate treatment for your sleep apnea, he will work with a local orthodontist to ensure the most effective care possible.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about our dental treatments for sleep apnea, contact Sleep Birmingham today. Dr. Spink is committed to providing you with permanent relief from OSA.

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