Treating sleep apnea symptoms is entirely possible, but it can be quite unpleasant for the patient. Sleep masks can make sleeping uncomfortable, as well as unpleasant for significant others to listen to all night. Common anti-snoring treatments like allergy medications and nose strips have no effect on sleep apnea, but oral appliance therapy is is a much less invasive method of treating mild to moderate sleep apnea. Keep reading to learn about oral appliance therapy and how it can help you.
What Causes Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
For most instances of mild and moderate sleep apnea, the symptoms of being unable to breathe easily during sleep is caused by a collapse of the muscles in the throat. This is something that happens when you're at rest and all of the muscles in the body relax. In the throat, this can cause a blockage that prevents air from easily traveling through the windpipe.
Sleep apnea masks are able to fix this problem by using air pressure to force the windpipe to open. However, this makes them noisy, and they also make it impossible for most wearers to sleep on their stomachs or sides due to the bulky nature of the mask.
Oral Appliance Therapy
For mild to moderate sleep apnea, there's another way to prevent sleep apnea symptoms. A simple dental creation called oral appliance therapy is able to adjust the jaw, extending the muscles that typically block the windpipe. This prevents them from fully relaxing and blocking off your air supply, which lets you sleep and breathe more easily. Unlike sleep apnea masks, these retainer-like devices stay entirely in your mouth, so you can sleep however you like. There's also no external noise, so you and your loved ones won't be disturbed.
How They're Made
These devices are actually made by dentists and are based upon your personal needs as well as the natural alignment of your jaw. When you see a dentist to have one made, the dentist will do a thorough examination of your jaw, bite, and throat. If you're a suitable candidate, they'll take a mold of your teeth and jaw. This mold will be analyzed to determine how far your jaw needs to be adjusted in order to open your windpipe at night. The mold and information will be sent to a manufacturing facility which will create your custom device and mail it back to the dentist.
Once it's ready, you'll come back to the office and your dentist will fit you with it to ensure that it fits properly and is working as it should. You may need to spend a night at a sleep lab to be monitored to ensure that the device is adequately opening your windpipe. If your tests show that you're breathing properly, then you'll be able to wear this simple device from that point on instead of having to use a CPAP mask.
Oral appliance therapy can help to treat sleep apnea symptoms without all the typical drawbacks of a CPAP machine. If you're dissatisfied with your current sleep apnea treatment situation, talk to services like Jerry C Hu DDS Family Dentistry LLC to find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you.Share