Oral Appliances Therapy
Many people don’t realize that their dentist can help treat their sleep apnea. The team at Singing River Dentistry is trained to work with your other care providers to help diagnose your sleep apnea and provide you with treatment solutions.
Stop the Snoring
Snoring is the most common sign of sleep apnea, and it impacts not just the person doing it, but anyone that has to try and sleep in that person’s general vicinity. You may not think we can help stop your snoring and sleep apnea, but there is an entire dental practice area dedicated to the study of sleep disorders.
The most common treatment option we will prescribe to help treat your sleep apnea is what is known as oral appliance therapy. It is a treatment method that was originally developed by dentists and it involves the patient wearing a custom-molded mouthguard at night that is designed specifically to help keep the airway open.
The mouthguard counteracts the main cause of sleep apnea, which is the throat muscles relaxing while you sleep. When those muscles relax, it constricts your airway and makes it difficult to breathe while you are sleeping. When you can’t breathe you snore, and when you snore you don’t get a good night’s sleep (and you possibly impact the sleep of everyone around you as well).
Keeping the Airway Open
As noted above, oral appliance therapy is all about helping keep that airway open while you are sleeping. To do this, we will get you fitted for a special mouthguard that is designed to keep your jaw and tongue in a specific position that helps stop your airway from being constricted. You only need to wear this mouthguard at night when you sleep.
Many patients have reported that oral appliance therapy is a much better alternative to using what is known as a CPAP machine. CPAP machines require a patient to wear a mask hooked up to an air pressure machine all night to help keep the airway open at night. A CPAP machine can be difficult to set up, too bulky to travel with and requires the patient to wear a mask all night.
With oral appliance therapy, you just pop in your mouthguard and night and you are all set. They are easy to wear, easy to travel with and most patients report getting used to sleeping with them in their mouth in just a couple of weeks. If you are experiencing any side effects from your night mouthguard, make sure you contact your us right away so they can be corrected. Side effects can include dry mouth and jaw discomfort.
Don’t put off getting your sleep apnea treated because you don’t want the hassle of setting up a CPAP machine. Contact us at Singing River Dentistry right away and we can determine if you are a good candidate for oral appliance therapy. Call us at 256-712-3186 to learn more about our oral appliance therapy options and find out when you can come in for a consultation.
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