Conquering Sleep Apnea
Recent studies have show that over 18 million American adults suffer from a range of mild to severe sleep apnea. It is still unclear how many children also suffer from sleep apnea, but studies are currently being performed to find a probable statistic. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, takes place when air cannot get to the lungs via your mouth and nose even though there is effort. Unfortunately, this common sleep disorder is potentially life threatening!
Signs and Symptoms of OSA
There are multiple factors that contribute to OSA, such as certain ethnicities, being overweight, and other medical conditions. Signs of OSA include loud or frequent snoring and periods of silence followed by choking or gasping. This shows that the airflow becomes blocked and then abruptly reopens while you sleep. Family members or loved ones tend to discover these symptoms before you ever do.
The Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
Repositioning the lower jaw and tongue while you sleep can help to keep your airways open. This is accomplished with removable, custom, oral appliances, a treatment known as oral appliance therapy. Xv rays are taken and impressions are made to create a custom appliance for you.
The custom appliance fits similar to a sports mouth guard or retainer. It supports your mouth in a forward position. This puts the face in a better position to keep airways more open, reducing the possibility of air passages closing.
If you have mild to moderate OSA, Oral Appliance Therapy could cure your sleep apnea! Eliminating sleep apnea can actually reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, all while giving you a more fulfilling night of sleep. No more groggy days and lack of concentration. No more keeping your family awake at night from the horrible snoring.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is one of the most commonly seen treatments for sleep apnea. Patients with severe OSA should try CPAP prior to trying Oral Appliance Therapy. Unfortunately, an alarming percentage of sleep apnea patients do not meet the terms to use a CPAP machine, while many others simply do not do well with that form of treatment.
Other benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy include easy to care for and convenient to transport. No need to lug around a large machine when traveling. Even taking naps is easy with the oral appliance. Quickly wash it before putting it in its case and store it in your bag or a drawer.
After the initial use of your custom oral appliance, follow-up with your dentist about the fit and if any adjustments are necessary. Annual assessments may also be essential to ensure that progress is being made for maximum effectiveness of Oral Appliance Therapy. These visits play a large role in treatment success.
If you think you may have obstructive sleep apnea or sense that a loved one has OSA, contact you doctor for a possible diagnosis. If diagnosed, Oral Appliance Therapy can change your life for the better by promoting a healthier mind and body. Let us help you to improve your sleep patterns today! Give us a call or request an appointment online via our user‐friendly form.