Breathe Easy: How Your Dentist Can Help You Conquer Sleep Apnea

How your Dallas area dentist can help with sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, often caused by the collapse of the airway, can lead to fragmented sleep and a host of health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and daytime fatigue. Fortunately, dental patients have effective options for managing sleep apnea through specialized therapies offered by Shwarts Family Dentistry.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea comes in three main types: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and complex sleep apnea syndrome. OSA, the most common form, occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway. CSA, on the other hand, happens when the brain fails to send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing. Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of both.

The Role of Dentistry in Sleep Apnea Therapy

Dentists play a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea, particularly OSA. Using specialized training and tools, dental professionals can help alleviate the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those suffering from this condition. One of the most effective treatments provided by dentists is oral appliance therapy.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy involves the use of a custom-made device worn during sleep to keep the airway open. These appliances are similar to mouthguards or orthodontic retainers and are designed to support the jaw in a forward position, preventing the airway from collapsing. The benefits of oral appliance therapy include:

  • Comfort and Convenience: Oral appliances are easy to wear and portable, making them an excellent option for patients who travel frequently.
  • Improved Sleep Quality: By maintaining an open airway, these devices help ensure uninterrupted breathing, leading to better sleep quality and reduced daytime fatigue.
  • Non-Invasive: Unlike CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines, which require a mask and machine, oral appliances are non-invasive and typically more comfortable for patients.

Diagnosis and Customization

The process begins with a thorough evaluation by a dentist trained in sleep apnea treatment. This evaluation often includes a review of your medical history, a physical examination, and possibly a referral for a sleep study. If oral appliance therapy is deemed appropriate, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a custom-fitted device tailored to your specific needs.

Follow-Up and Adjustments

After receiving your oral appliance, regular follow-up appointments are essential to ensure the device is working correctly and to make any necessary adjustments. Your dentist will monitor your progress and address any issues to optimize the effectiveness of the therapy.


Sleep apnea is a significant health issue that can severely impact your quality of life, but effective treatment options are available. Dental professionals are uniquely positioned to provide therapies like oral appliance therapy that can help manage and mitigate the symptoms of sleep apnea. If you suspect you have sleep apnea or are seeking alternative treatments, consult with your dentist to explore how oral appliance therapy can help you achieve a better, healthier night’s sleep.

Contact Shwarts Family Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7522 Campbell Rd. Ste 120, 
Dallas, TX 75248