Treating Sleep Apnea With Oral Appliance Therapy

It may be surprising to some, but did you know your dentist can actually help with sleep apnea? The dentist is able to prescribe and fit you for a special oral appliance that can assist with proper airflow throughout the night. Here is what you should know about these devices.

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is when you stop breathing for at least 10 seconds in your sleep on a regular basis. The severity of sleep apnea depends on how often you stop breathing in the duration of an hour. Snoring can be a sign of partial sleep apnea; so are gasps and chokes when breathing is resumed. The cessation of breath is due to the muscles in the throat and mouth relaxing to the point where they restrict the airway. Along with constant fatigue from a lack of proper sleep, sleep apnea can lead to long-term complications such as cardiac issues and strokes.

The oral appliances

The purpose of oral appliances is to help prevent sleep apnea through placement in the mouth. Thanks to mandibular advancement devices and tongue retaining mouthpieces, oral appliances are a step down from having to use advanced equipment to treat sleep apnea.

Mandibular advancement device

Similar to orthodontic retainers, the mandibular advancement device (MAD) fits over the lower and upper teeth and is connected by hinges. The jaw and tongue are moved and kept forward by the MAD so that during the night the airway and airflow are never restricted.

Tongue retaining mouthpiece

These are built similar to the MADs but are kept in place via suction from a compartment around the tongue that keeps it forward. With the tongue retaining mouthpiece, the jaw is not kept forward for those who are unable to have their jaw do so.

Possible complications

The oral appliances used to treat sleep apnea do have some drawbacks and possible complications that need to be watched for and discussed with your dentist before using the appliance. They include the following:

  • The appliances lead to increased amounts of saliva in the mouth, requiring frequent swallowing.
  • Damage to teeth and soft tissues in the mouth and jaw muscles and joints is possible.
  • The appliance can cause discomfort, especially in the morning. This may result in people not wanting to use the device as often as they should.
  • The sleep apnea may be too severe for an oral appliance to be effective.

Conclusion

Oral appliances require a proper fitting in order to be effective for sleep apnea treatment, but they are simple and effective devices. Frequent visits with your dentist for any fitting changes as well as monitoring the effectiveness of your oral appliance can help you find the right fit to aid you in your sleep therapy. You do not need to suffer through sleep apnea affects when your dentist can help you with a simple device.

Are you considering getting an oral appliance for sleep apnea in the Fresno area? Get more information at https://www.pacdentalgroup.com.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea.

Recent Posts

What Happens During A Root Canal Treatment To Save Your Tooth

When your tooth is badly decayed or infected, root canal therapy is used by dentists to remove the decay and save the tooth. The procedure is performed when the pulp in the tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels, is badly damaged, leaving you in a considerable amount of pain. During the procedure, the pulp…

A Kid-Friendly Dentist Answers FAQs About Baby Teeth

Finding a kid-friendly dentist can be one of the most important steps to ensuring that your child starts off with strong oral health practices. While some people may feel that caring for primary teeth, or “baby teeth,” is not as important as caring for permanent teeth because the baby teeth will fall out anyway, this…

What Is The Difference Between Teeth Whitening And Teeth Bleaching?

If you have yellow teeth, stains on your teeth or are not happy about the appearance of your teeth, getting a teeth whitening or bleaching treatment is a great way to restore them to their original appearance. However, you should find out more about the procedures before deciding on which is best for you.According to…

Repairing Damaged Dental Veneers

Porcelain dental veneers are one of the most innovative inventions in the world of cosmetic dentistry. Dental veneers can make poor-looking teeth appear alluring, sturdy and natural. But what happens when they get damaged due to a mishap or accident? This article focuses on factors that affect the lifespan of veneers and the process involved…

Recent Posts

What Happens During A Root Canal Treatment To Save Your Tooth

What Happens During A Root Canal Treatment To Save Your Tooth

When your tooth is badly decayed or infected, root canal therapy is used by dentists to remove the decay and save the tooth. The procedure is performed when the pulp in the tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels, is badly damaged, leaving you in a considerable amount of pain. During the procedure, the pulp…

A Kid Friendly Dentist Answers FAQs About Baby Teeth

A Kid-Friendly Dentist Answers FAQs About Baby Teeth

Finding a kid-friendly dentist can be one of the most important steps to ensuring that your child starts off with strong oral health practices. While some people may feel that caring for primary teeth, or “baby teeth,” is not as important as caring for permanent teeth because the baby teeth will fall out anyway, this…