Oral Appliance Treatment For Sleep Apnea
What is Sleep Apnea?
Over 18 million Americans are currently living with sleep apnea—a sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop or become shallow throughout the night, disrupting your natural sleep cycle. While many people may have this disorder and not even know it, this sleep problem can affect waking hours, as well. Those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) will often experience excessive daytime sleepiness, problems concentrating, and morning headaches.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
The standard course of treatment for sleep apnea is usually CPAP equipment, which delivers a steady, controlled stream of pressurized air through a hose that attaches to a facemask that is worn while you sleep. This air helps to keep your airways open to prevent obstruction and help you sleep better.
However, there are some people that experience CPAP intolerance, whether it’s due to latex allergies or mask leaks. If you haven’t found relief through CPAP equipment then it’s time to talk to us about whether oral appliance therapy could treat your OSA symptoms.
Oral appliance therapy is designed to treat those with mild to moderate OSA, and may actually eliminate the need for CPAP equipment or surgery. If you have severe OSA this oral appliance may also be used in conjunction with other treatments to help you manage your symptoms.
Each sleep apnea device is custom-fitted to your mouth to target and address your specific needs. Since all mouths are shaped differently, these devices cannot be one size fits all. This is why you need to turn to our qualified dentist in order to be properly fitted for your oral appliance.
How does oral appliance therapy work?
Repositioning the lower jaw forward while you sleep keeps the tongue away from the back of your throat, thereby reducing the possibility for an obstruction. Oral appliance therapy is the first line of treatment that we often recommend to patients with mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea, as this is a less invasive and more convenient treatment option. This can also be a great option for someone who hasn’t responded to or is not an ideal candidate for CPAP therapy.
What are the advantages of wearing an oral appliance?
Oral appliance therapy offers a variety of benefits, including a better night’s sleep. However, what makes this an ideal treatment option for many sleep apnea sufferers is that it’s non-invasive and comfortable. Most patients find that it only takes a couple of weeks to adjust to wearing this appliance, and it’s so small that it’s easy to carry with you no matter where you go.