Sleep Apnea/Oral Appliances

A problem with your sleep affects every aspect of your life. Quality sleep is essential for helping you look, feel, and function at your best. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, however, getting quality sleep can feel impossible. Apnea is a Greek word that means without breath. When you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing while you sleep. When this happens, your body wakes itself up, which affects your sleep cycles. For most people with sleep apnea, they are completely aware that this is even happening unless they are told about it. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, Summit Dental Care can help you to get the treatment you need to restore your sleep to what it should be.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. It is usually simply referred to as OSA. This is a form of sleep apnea that affects your breathing because an obstruction blocks your airway. The obstruction may partially block your airway, which can cause snoring. If the obstruction completely blocks the airway, your breathing stops. Those who are overweight, have a misaligned jaw, have an enlarged tongue or tonsils, or who have a narrow airway are at a greater risk for developing OSA.

Why Is Treating Sleep Apnea Important?

One of the most noticeable issues caused by sleep apnea is excessive daytime sleepiness. You wake up feeling tired, and that exhaustion carries through your entire day. You might have trouble concentrating or fall asleep during the day. While getting good sleep is important for improving your energy and allowing you to feel rested, this is not all sleep is important for. The longer you go without treatment for sleep apnea, the greater your risk becomes for major health complications. You are put at a greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, and low blood oxygen levels. You are more likely to be susceptible to illnesses because your immune system is weakened. Those who have OSA are also more likely to suffer from depression.

What Treatments Are Available For Sleep Apnea?

There are a few treatments available for sleep apnea. One of the most common is the C-PAP machine. This is a machine that delivers air into your nose through a tube and mask. The air forces its way past the obstruction blocking your airway, which helps to keep your airway open.

An alternative to C-PAP is oral appliance therapy. This treatment uses an oral device that is worn in your mouth. The device fits over your upper and lower teeth. It is designed to move your lower jaw slightly more forward than normal and holds it there. This keeps the jaw from sliding back. It also helps to move the obstruction, preventing it from blocking your airway.

If your sleep apnea is more severe, you may need oral surgery. Surgery may involve removing tissue from the back of your mouth or repositioning your jaw. The type of surgery you need is based on your specific situation.

Treating your sleep apnea is essential for improving your sleep, which helps to improve your overall health as well as your whole life. For more information on how we can help, call Summit Dental Care at (208) 733-9999 today.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Following a sleep apnea diagnosis, treatment is recommended. Treating your sleep apnea is important for improving your sleep quality and your life as a whole. When you are finally able to sleep, you can function at your best. You feel better, physically and mentally. Good sleep is also important for your overall health. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, Summit Dental Care can provide treatment with oral appliance therapy.

Oral Appliance Therapy Vs. C-PAP

The C-PAP machine is one of the most frequently prescribed treatments for sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy is gaining popularity, however. C-PAP treatment uses air pressure that is delivered through a hose and mask worn over your nose while you sleep. The pressure forces the air through the obstruction that affects your breathing. An oral appliance, on the other hand, is a custom-fitted device that is worn in your mouth while you sleep. It fits over your teeth and is made to reposition your lower jaw forward. By moving the jaw, the obstruction is repositioned so that your airway remains open while you sleep.

Types Of Oral Appliances

Mandibular advancement devices, or a MAD, is one of the most common oral appliances used for sleep apnea. This type of device is also called a mandibular advancement splint or mandibular repositioning appliance. Two pieces are connected with a hinge. The two pieces fit over your upper and lower teeth. The hinge forces the lower jaw forward slightly to open the airway.

The other type of oral appliance is called a tongue retaining device. This type of device is used less frequently. It is fairly similar to a mandibular advancement device, except that it has a special compartment that holds your tongue in place. This prevents the tongue from falling back into your throat while you sleep.

Pros And Cons Of Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is a lot easier for many patients. Your movements are not restricted, and you do not have to worry that you might get tangled in the tube. You also will not have to worry about dryness in your nose, which is common with C-PAP. There is no noise. Oral appliances are also much easier to travel with.

One major drawback to an oral appliance is that it can be uncomfortable at first. The appliance is designed to hold your lower jaw a bit more forward than normal, which can cause pain in your jaw. This pain should go away as you get accustomed to your device. If the pain doesn’t go away or gets worse, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Another drawback is that the device can cause you to salivate excessively.

How Do I Know My Oral Appliance Is Working?

If your oral appliance is working, you should begin to notice a lessening of your sleep apnea symptoms. The appliance should help you to sleep properly, which means you will not be as sleepy when you wake up. You should have more energy and should be able to focus better on your daily tasks. You may also notice improvements in your mental health as well. If your symptoms begin to return, it is important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

If you are interested in treating your sleep apnea with an oral appliance, contact Summit Dental Care at (208) 733-9999 to schedule your appointment today.

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