Sleep disorders can get in the way of sleeping through the night, which is an essential part of maintaining good health, but thankfully sleep medicine is a field focusing solely on these issues. Without a full night’s rest, a person may not be able to function properly, and this can get in the way of…
Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea
Suffering from sleep apnea? Dental sleep medicine treatment is an option that many people who have been diagnosed with this sleeping disorder are choosing to undergo, as this option uses oral appliances to treat those in need. Ready to find out if an oral appliance is the right solution for you?
About sleep apnea
Understanding that sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleeping condition is the first thing one needs to recognize when they think that they have sleep apnea. According to Cleveland Clinic, sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. Some people will stop breathing many times during the night, which not only affects their sleep, it can also lead to any number of overall health issues, e.g., headaches, fatigue, etc.
How dental professionals treat this common sleeping disorder
It is important for those diagnosed with sleep apnea to understand that oral appliances are used to treat mild to moderate cases of this sleeping disorder. The list below includes three common types of oral appliances that dental professionals use to treat sleep apnea.
Mandibular advancement devices
This oral appliance is often used for patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea because their tongue gets in the way of their ability to properly breathe during the night. The device works by positioning the lower jaw and tongue in a forward position, as this allows for easier breathing because there is more space available due to the tongue being pulled forward, preventing the airway from being blocked.
Mandibular advancement splints
This oral appliance is custom-made for every patient and pulls the lower jaw slightly forward. This helps prevent the upper airway from being blocked when sleeping and is one of the more popular oral appliances to treat sleep apnea patients. This particular oral appliance solution can be as beneficial as a CPAP machine.
Tongue retaining devices
This oral appliance focuses specifically on repositioning that tongue so it is not able to block one’s airway while sleeping. Tongue retaining devices use suction to pull the tongue forward. While it takes a little practice for patients to get used to wearing this oral appliance when sleeping, those who choose this option often experience optimal results.
Think you have this sleeping disorder?
Those who think they are living with sleep apnea should contact a dental professional in order to get a proper diagnosis. The fact that there are solutions in place for those who are suffering from any degree of sleep apnea makes it a good idea for those diagnosed to learn whether they will benefit from using one or more of the oral appliances above. For those who have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.
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