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Orthodontics and Sleep Apnea: What You Need to Know

Do you suffer from sleep apnea or know someone who does? If so, you may want to consider looking into orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics is the field of dentistry that focuses on treating and correcting malocclusion, or misaligned teeth and jaws.

It has been found that orthodontic treatment can help treat sleep apnea and other breathing issues and can even help reduce snoring. This blog post will discuss what you need to know about orthodontics and sleep apnea.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person to repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. The most prevalent type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, happens when the throat muscles relax and restrict the airway.

It leads to interruptions in breathing, causing a person to wake up briefly throughout the night. Understanding sleep apnea is important to recognize the symptoms and seek appropriate treatment to improve sleep quality and overall health.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea 

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have sleep apnea, it’s important to recognize the common symptoms associated with this condition.

1. Loud Snoring: Chronic snoring is one of the most common sleep apnea symptoms. This snoring is often accompanied by pauses in breathing and choking or gasping sounds.

2. Daytime Sleepiness: Sleep apnea disrupts sleep quality, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness. People with sleep apnea often feel tired and dizzy even after a full night’s sleep.

3. Morning Headaches: Frequent morning headaches can indicate sleep apnea. These headaches are often caused by a drop in oxygen levels during sleep apnea episodes.

4. Mood Changes: Sleep apnea can affect mood and emotional well-being. Irritability, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating are common among those with sleep apnea.

5. High Blood Pressure: Sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure. The interruptions in breathing cause stress on the cardiovascular system, leading to increased blood pressure levels.

6. Frequent Nighttime Urination: Sleep apnea can disrupt the normal production of hormones that regulate fluid balance, causing frequent nighttime urination.

How Orthodontics Can Help with Sleep Apnea

Orthodontic treatment can be a key part of treating sleep apnea. By adjusting the position of the jaw, orthodontics can help to improve the airway and reduce the severity of sleep apnea symptoms. Sometimes, orthodontic treatment alone may be sufficient to treat mild sleep apnea.

However, orthodontics may be used with other treatments, such as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine in more severe cases. If you suffer from sleep apnea, talking to your orthodontist about treatment options can help you breathe easier and get a better night’s sleep.

The Role of Orthodontic Treatment in Treating Sleep Apnea

Orthodontic treatment can play a role in treating sleep apnea. By correcting the alignment of the teeth and jaw, orthodontics can help open the airway, allowing for better airflow during sleep. It can alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea and improve overall sleep quality.

Additionally, orthodontic appliances such as mouthguards and retainers can reposition the jaw and maintain a clear airway. Orthodontics offers a non-invasive and effective solution for managing sleep apnea, improving sleep quality and overall health.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea 

Here are some treatment options that can be used to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms:

1. Oral Appliances: These custom-made devices are worn in the mouth during sleep to help keep the airway open by repositioning the jaw and tongue. It can help to reduce snoring and prevent pauses in breathing.

2. Upper Jaw Expansion: By expanding the upper jaw, more space is created in the airway, which can reduce the risk of obstruction during sleep.

3. Rapid Palatal Expansion (RPE): This technique involves gradually widening the upper jaw to create more space for the airway. RPE is effective in treating sleep apnea in children.

4. Orthognathic Surgery: In severe cases, orthognathic surgery may be necessary to reposition the jaw and improve breathing. This surgery can also be used to correct other dental and facial abnormalities.

Final Thoughts

At Aloha Orthodontics in Las Vegas, we know that improving sleep quality can significantly impact your health and well-being.

Our team has the knowledge and expertise to create a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve a better night’s sleep and improve your oral health.

We encourage you to schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about the role of orthodontics in treating sleep apnea and discover which treatment options may be right for you.


Mon - Fri: 9:30am - 5:30pm
Sat - Sun: Closed


Mon - Fri: 9:30am - 5:30pm
Sat - Sun: Closed

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