Getting the proper treatment for sleep apnea can help improve the quality of life for people suffering from this condition. In addition to providing better sleep, oral appliance therapy can also help people feel better about themselves. This article will explain sleep apnea and discuss the various advantages of oral appliance therapy for people suffering from the condition.
Sleep Apnea- What is It?
Sleep apnea is a type of medical condition that occurs when a person stops breathing during sleep. It can last for several seconds or minutes. When a person stops breathing during sleep, their brain stops working properly, and their body doesn’t have enough oxygen to function properly. This condition can increase a person’s risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart attacks. Symptoms of sleep apnea can include:
- Chronic loud snoring
- Having a sore or dry throat when you wake in the morning
- Headaches upon waking
- Changes in memory or concentration
What are Oral Appliances?
An oral appliance is a plastic mouthpiece designed to support the jaw in a forward position to help keep the soft tissues and tongue in the back of the throat from blocking the upper airway. This type of treatment is usually helpful for people suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea.
For individuals who are not comfortable using a traditional machine known as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, an oral appliance can be used as an alternative to a CPAP machine. In some cases, this type of treatment can be combined with other procedures for treatment.
There are various types of oral appliances that can be used to treat sleep apnea. They can help keep the upper airway clear and allow people to breathe properly. The most common types of appliances are tongue-retaining and mandibular advancement devices.
How Do Oral Appliances Work?
An oral appliance is made to fit a person’s mouth and jaw, and it’s worn only at night. This type of treatment can help keep the upper airway open and prevent snoring. These appliances are made from BPA-free material and are custom-made to fit each person’s unique teeth. After fitting, they can be used for a sleep study to evaluate their effectiveness.
Oral Appliance Benefits
Many people who are suffering from sleep apnea have already explored the various advantages of using oral appliances. One of the main reasons why people are attracted to this type of treatment is how comfortable it is compared to CPAP. However, there are other benefits that people forget to consider.
1. Energy Efficient
One of the biggest advantages of using an oral appliance is that it doesn’t require electricity. Unlike other devices, this type of treatment doesn’t require people to use a lot of energy to use it.
Having to use a CPAP machine can be embarrassing for people who are close to friends and family. With an oral appliance, you can easily manage your sleep apnea without having to go to the trouble of carrying around a device. Some of these are made with a translucent material, which means they’re very comfortable to wear.
An oral appliance is incredibly portable, which means it can fit inside a backpack, purse, or suitcase. It doesn’t require electricity to operate, and you can bring it with you anywhere.
4. Corrects Underlying Issues
One of the biggest advantages of using an oral appliance is that it can correct the underlying issues that cause sleep apnea. For instance, the ALF appliance can straighten the teeth and improve the alignment of the arches to help open the airway. This means that once you achieve the necessary results, you’ll no longer have to wear an appliance at night.
5. Can Help Manage Other Problems At Once
People suffering from sleep apnea often have other conditions, such as a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which can also affect their oral health. With the help of an oral appliance, sleep dentists and TMJ specialists can help you manage these conditions at the same time.
Why See a Doctor for Oral Appliances?
Board-certified sleep apnea specialists can provide a wide range of treatment options for individuals suffering from this condition. They’re experts in treating both snoring and sleep apnea.