If you've been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the tissues surrounding the tongue and neck relax and block airflow to the lungs while you sleep, there are many treatment options to consider with your doctor. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and dental appliances, or mouth guards, are two of the most extensively used and effective options.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat compresses during sleep and blocks the airway. Patients with nervous system dysfunction, such as those who have had a stroke, are more likely to suffer central sleep apnea. Patients with heart failure and other forms of cardiac and pulmonary disease are also at risk.
What are Oral Appliances?
Oral appliances may be an effective treatment option if you have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and can't tolerate or aren't helped by CPAP. The following devices, which must be fitted by a dentist or orthodontist and worn at night, are available:
Mandibular advancement device(MAD): MADs, the most often used mouth device for sleep apnea, resemble a sports mouthguard. These devices are metal hinged and snap over the upper and lower dental arches, allowing the lower jaw to be eased forward.
Tongue retaining device:This device is a splint that keeps the tongue in position to keep the airway open, therefore helping in relieving sleep apnea.
Dental devices may help people with mild to severe sleep apnea sleep better and snore less frequently and loudly, especially if they sleep on their backs or stomachs. People are also more likely to use their dental appliances regularly than they are to use CPAP.
What is the Mechanism of Oral Appliance Therapy?
Dental appliances prevent the tongue from blocking the throat and extending the lower jaw forward and can be used by patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. These appliances assist in keeping the airway open during sleeping. You should consult with a sleep specialist and a dentist who specializes in dental appliances for this purpose.
What are the Benefits of Using an Oral Appliance?
- Reduces or eliminates snoring and other symptoms of OSA, such as daytime tiredness, low tolerance levels, and concentration problems.
- People who are unable to endure CPAP have another choice.
- It is more convenient to travel with.
- Works without the use of electricity.
- It is quiet.
Please reach out to our dental practice in West Jordan, UT, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Gardois. Please call us at (801) 871-5820 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.