What Is Sleep Apnea?
Mouth breathing, sleep apnea, and tongue thrust are all symptoms of a much bigger issue– an airway problem.
Our airway and ability to breathe are our lifelines! Dentists and doctors of the AAPMD approach their patients looking at the airway first and the alignment of the teeth last. What an incredible concept!
After working in sleep dentistry, I feel that I have a greater responsibility to take a close look at the signs and symptoms of airway issues in all of my patients. We cannot allow you, your spouse or your children to fall through the cracks of our healthcare system any more.
Myofunctional Therapy And Sleep Apnea
A newly recognized and effective way to address and treat sleep apnea is myofunctional therapy. This makes a lot of sense because in many cases, people who have weak and improperly functioning oral muscles also show signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. If you can strengthen those muscles, you can ease these symptoms. And something that myofunctional therapy does brilliantly is to strengthen and re-pattern muscles. Which is why I get great results with my sleep apnea patients.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
The only practitioners who can diagnose sleep apnea are medical doctors. So this means that even a dentist who specializes in sleep dentistry can’t diagnose a patient with this condition.
Now I’m not a dentist, and I’m definitely not a medical doctor, so I can’t diagnose a patient with this condition, but as a practicing myofunctional therapist, I am very aware of the signs and symptoms – I see them all the time.
So if I recognize symptoms that could be related, I’ll always recommend that my patients talk to their doctor, and learn more about having a sleep test done.
Once they’ve got a diagnosis, and hopefully a sleep score, I can help.