Some sleep disorders can be treated with cosmetic dentistry. Others are more complex. One common condition is sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a condition where the tissues and muscles at the back of the throat collapse the airway. This causes the person to stop breathing momentarily and wake up.
The three most effective treatments for sleep apnoea are:
- Surgical removal of the uvula and possibly a portion of the soft palate.
- Use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. This is an apparatus with a nose mask connected by a heavy gauge tube to a compressor that pumps air into the nose all night.
- Use of an anti-snoring device.
Bruxism, another sleep disorder, is discussed here.
To successfully treat snoring and sleep apnoea, a thorough examination should be performed. The problem area can be anywhere between the nose to deep into the throat. The course of treatment will depend on where the obstruction is. Many oral surgeons and ear, nose, and throat physicians are qualified to do the testing. Sleep clinics are also a place to begin finding a solution to the problem.