treat sleep apnoea using orthodontics

Can You Treat Sleep Apnoea Using Orthodontics?

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition in which airways are blocked intermittently during sleep — greatly reducing oxygen flow to the body and brain. 

It’s a serious condition that can lead to heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Loud snoring is a primary symptom of sleep apnoea.

A dentist or orthodontist may often be the first health professional to recognize the signs of sleep apnoea, referring you to a specialist for diagnosis. Without diagnosis sleep apnoea can cause serious health issues such as heart disease.

Key takeaways:

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea is caused by blocked airways that reduce the oxygen flow to the brain and is the most common form of sleep apnoea, but realigning teeth can help position the tongue to reduce the chance of such blockages.
  • A custom-made oral appliance, much like a retainer, could also be used to keep the tongue in the right position, as well as moving the jaw forward a little to help keep the airways open.
  • Long-term use of an oral appliance may alter the position of your teeth, but an orthodontist can manage this issue.

“… for patients that qualify, oral appliance therapy can dramatically improve their quality of life by reducing their sleep apnea symptoms.” 

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Matthew Houlton BDS(Sheffield) MFGDP(UK)

I’m Matthew Houlton, principal dentist and practice owner of Manor House Dental Practice.

Qualified from Sheffield dental hospital in 1993.

Post graduate training with Paul Tipton (Specialist Prosthodontist) from 2005-2007.

Diploma for Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) 2007.

Special interest in Orthodontics.

Yorkshire Deanary Fixed Appliance Training Scheme 2002-2004.

I have worked at York Hospital’s orthodontic department one session a week since 2009.

Member of the British Society of Occlusal Studies (the study of temporomandibular disorder).

I have two children, who keep me busy when I am not at the practice. I take a keen interest in and teach Aikido, a martial art, to keep a healthy mind and body.