Airway dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on improving your breathing and your overall health. There are a lot of common conditions that can obstruct proper breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). These, in turn, can lead to a lot of other complex and potentially severe health issues.
Airway dentists like Dr. Kory Kirkegaard can recognize airway issues by looking for a few common signs in your medical history in addition to mouth breathing, premature tooth wear, poor-quality sleep, and more. With the help of Dr. Kirkegaard, you can correct your breathing, free up your airway, and protect your whole-body health.
Sleep apnea may affect as much as 20% of the adult population and many people with sleep apnea have never been formally diagnosed!
To begin, Dr. Kirkegaard will examine your jaw joints, teeth and airway. Then, he will have a discussion with you about any symptoms that you’ve been experiencing that may be related to your airway. In some cases, a sleep study may be recommended to check for sleep apnea. You also might already have a positive diagnosis for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Dr. K and his team will complete a records appointment and can potentially get your OSA treated immediately!
Based on your initial consultation, Dr. Kirkegaard will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan. Your plan will help resolve the issues with your airway, allow you to breathe easier, and enhance your whole-body health.
If you elect to proceed with a Mandibular Advancement Device, to treat obstructive sleep apnea, the team will take digital impressions and begin fabrication of the MAD. The team at The Art of Dentistry will work closely with you to provide the treatments and follow-up care you need to improve and protect your health.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea. In this condition, the tissue in your throat and mouth sags during sleep and your tongue falls back, blocking your airway and interrupting proper respiration. This contributes to insomnia, poor-quality sleep, trouble focusing, mood changes such as depression or being easily upset. In the long term, OSA can dramatically increase your risk of heart attack and stroke too.
There are a variety of ways to treat OSA. As an airway dentist, Dr. Kirkegaard specializes in mandibular advancement device (MAD) treatment. A MAD looks similar to a night guard or retainer, but is designed to change the position of your jaws when you sleep. This, in turn, opens up your airway and helps prevent sleep apnea.
Bruxism is often related to sleep apnea and other issues with your airway. When you clench and grind your teeth at night, this can constrict your airway and interrupt proper respiration. Bruxism also causes premature wear and damage to your teeth. With his focus on airway dentistry, Dr. Kirkegaard can diagnose bruxism and take steps to help reduce nighttime clenching and grinding.
If your palate, jaws, and teeth do not develop properly from a young age, this can lead to a higher risk of bruxism, sleep apnea, TMJ, and other related conditions. In airway dentistry, treatments like orthodontics or even jaw surgery may be used to correct anatomical issues that are contributing to common sleep disorders and other airway-related issues.
Dental implants are the only restorative option that preserves and stimulates your natural bone structure.