People of all ages can suffer from sleep apnea, but it is most common in adults over the age of 40. According to the National Sleep Foundation, over 18 million Americans suffer from this condition. In children, this is often caused by enlarged tonsils, which can obstruct a child's airway during sleep. In adults, males…
4 Sleep Medicine Options to Help You Sleep Better Each Night
For patients struggling to sleep through the night, sleep medicine treatment may be worth considering. A lot of people suffer from sleep apnea and other similar conditions that cause a disruptive night of sleep. While some symptoms may be natural, others are not and may require the help of a medical professional such as a sleep medicine dentist or doctor.
Thankfully, modern medicine has allowed for the development of multiple sleep medicine treatments. Some of these treatments involve dentistry, while others focus solely on sleep medicine itself. In this article, discover four different options for sleep medicine treatment, all of which are said to help patients sleep better at night. This information can be especially helpful to someone who may not be sure what type of treatment plan to consider.
4 sleep medicine options to sleep better at night
Below are outlined a few common sleep medicine treatment options for patients suffering from sleep apnea or other related conditions. Keep reading to find out more!
Mandibular advancement device
One popular option for dental sleep medicine treatment is a mandibular advancement device, also known as a MAD. This is an oral appliance prescribed by sleep medicine dentists. The goal of a MAD is to position the jaw in a certain way during the night that allows the airway to never become obstructed.
Another common method of sleep medicine treatment for apnea is a tongue-retaining device, which is also an oral appliance. The difference of this option is that it is shaped more like a pacifier with a hole in the middle. The hole holds the tongue in a forward position so that it cannot obstruct the airway while the patient is asleep. Just like a MAD, a tongue-retaining device is also administered by a sleep medicine dentist, and it is custom-created specifically for each patient.
CPAP is a continuous positive airway pressure machine that sends positive air into the patient's body throughout the night. This sleep medicine option does not necessarily involve dentistry, but it does require a custom breathing mask for the patient to wear during the night. The mask is connected to a hose that feeds into an air machine. CPAP machines are known to produce good results, but they are more obtrusive than oral appliances.
Some sleep medicine specialists recommend that apnea patients undergo orofacial therapy, which can help train the tongue muscles to sit in a more forward position. Over time, this type of therapy can significantly improve the way that the muscles work within the mouth, thus lowering the chances that a patient may experience breathing difficulties during the night. Orofacial therapy is also said to help patients who snore a lot, which is another type of sleeping condition.
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