Sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes a person to momentarily stop breathing. Though many people associate sleep apnea with snoring, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea tend to both snore and gasp for air while sleeping. In most cases, sleep apnea causes a person to feel fatigued and may also cause a variety of mental and physical health problems. In fact, severe cases of sleep apnea may cause long pauses in breathing that can result in a person’s death. Medical professionals work to help patients with sleep apnea to reduce fatigue and to live a healthier life. While many people are familiar with CPAP treatment for sleep apnea, there are less intrusive options.
Sleep dentistry is a relatively new branch of medical treatment for sleep apnea. Dentists with specialized training and experience work with patients who have sleep apnea to prevent the closure of the patient’s airway while he or she is sleeping. A dentist will carefully examine a person’s mouth, while taking measurements and casts, in order to craft an oral appliance that will hold the mouth in the proper position to maintain an open airway. In general, the appliance holds the lower jaw in a steady position and prevents it from falling back and allow the throat to collapse. By holding the airway open, the appliance will help the patient to breathe properly which will reduce fatigue.
Oral Appliance Advantages
CPAP treatment is the most common form of sleep apnea treatment, but it has a number of drawbacks. The primary problem is that many people struggle to become comfortable sleeping in a CPAP mask and dealing with the pressure of the air blowing into their nose or mouth. However, most people have little trouble sleeping in a custom oral appliance as they are not obtrusive and do not use positive air pressure. In addition, oral appliances are easier to transport from one location to another which is useful for those who travel a lot. While CPAP machines are portable, they are somewhat heavy and awkward to move.
Let Us Help You
If you are one of the approximately 25 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, give our sleep dentistry office a call today so that we may help you to obtain the good sleep that you need to live a better and healthier life.