Sleep apnea is a fairly common medical condition that affects millions of Americans every day and, in some cases, can have life-threatening side effects. To get the right kind of help for your apnea, it first helps to understand the causes of this sleep condition, what the different causes mean for treatment, and how you…
Benefits of Oral Appliance Treatment to Address Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a health condition that leads to interruptions to your breathing while you sleep. It can have a significant impact on your quality of life, and it can be life-threatening when left untreated. Sleep apnea is caused by a person’s airways being blocked during sleep. It might be due to soft tissues, like the tongue, getting into the way of a person’s airways or fat buildup.
How dentists treat sleep apnea with oral appliances
One of the popular treatments used to manage sleep apnea is the use of oral appliances. These devices are used to keep the patient’s airways open during sleep. Popular oral appliances used for sleep apnea include mandibular advancement devices, vestibular shields, tongue-retaining devices, and chin strips.
Some of these devices, like the tongue-retaining device, work by keeping the patient’s tongue in its proper position during sleep so it does not block their airway. Others, like the mandibular advancement device, work by keeping the patient’s jaw in the proper position while they sleep so their airway stays open. The benefits of treating sleep apnea with an oral appliance instead of exploring other treatment options, like a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, include the following.
Benefits of oral appliances for sleep apnea
Ease of use: Many of the oral appliances used to treat sleep apnea are easy to use and are customized for the patient’s mouth. They are simple to use, lightweight, and easy to store and travel with. They fit comfortably in the patient’s mouth, keeping their airway open, allowing them to sleep without interruptions to their breathing.
Convenience: The oral appliances that help keep a person’s airway open while they sleep cause little discomfort due to their custom fit. The device is customized to fit the patient’s airway, tongue, jaw, and teeth.
Reduces snoring: Snoring sounds are caused by obstructions to a person’s airway, and they are often a symptom of sleep apnea. The oral appliances used for sleep apnea open up the airways and create more space. Some, like chin straps, help keep the patient’s mouth closed, forcing them to breathe with their nose. This reduces snoring sounds during sleep.
Non-surgical approach: Oral appliances will not make any permanent changes to a person’s teeth, and getting them does not require any surgical procedures. Surgical treatments for sleep apnea are typically explored as a last resort.
Effortless: Treating sleep apnea with an oral appliance is as easy as inserting the device in the mouth and going to bed. The appliance must be cleaned after every use to minimize bacteria buildup. Other ways to manage sleep apnea, like CPAP machines, need to be set up before they can be used.
Improved sleep: Oral appliances like tongue retainers have been proven to be effective for treating patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Wearing an oral appliance before going to bed provides immediate relief for many people with the condition, leading to better sleep.
Explore oral appliances
Call or visit our Springfield Township clinic to learn more about how oral appliances like mandibular advancement devices can be used to manage sleep apnea.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea in Springfield Township, NJ.
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