DENTAL APPLIANCES FOR SLEEP APNEA
If your partner is keeping you awake at night because of excessive snoring, you do not have to retreat to the guest bedroom, as there are some things you can do to stop your better half from waking up the entire household.
Your dentist explains that Sleep Apnea is a problem that occurs when breathing is disrupted during sleep. Men, women, and sometimes children that have untreated Sleep Apnea could stop breathing hundreds of times when they are trying to sleep. When this happens, the brain, not to mention the rest of the body, is not getting enough oxygen.
According to Web MD, There are two types of sleep apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea. OSA is the most common for of sleep apnea and happens when the airways are blocked. Central Sleep Apnea happens when the brain is unable to signal the breathing muscles. Unlike OSA, the airways are not blocked.
Your dentist explains that Sleep Apnea can affect men, women, and children at any time. Risk factors include:
- Being overweight
- Being male
- Over the age of 40
- Large neck size
- Large tonsils
- Large tongue
- Small jawbone
- Sleep apnea in the family
- Nasal obstruction
- GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux
- Sinus problems
If Sleep Apnea is not treated, it can cause:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Irregular heart beat
- Heart failure
People who have untreated Sleep Apnea often fall asleep at the wheel, at work, or during class.
After your doctor has diagnosed you with Sleep Apnea, there are a couple of treatments available including a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, also called a CPAP, surgery, or dental appliances custom made by your dentist.
Unfortunately, a CPAP machine is cumbersome and, although it works in most cases, can cause other problems including dry mouth, nosebleeds, and sores on the bridge of the nose, stomach discomfort, bloating and nasal congestion. Surgery for Sleep Apnea is not always successful with patients having to resort to a second, or sometimes a third surgery to correct the problem.
One of the best solutions for Sleep Apnea is a mouthguard or dental appliance, especially if you feel confined and have been unable to get used to a CPAP. Custom made by your dentist, a Mandibular Advancement Device, also known as MAD, resembles a mouthguard used for sports. The MAD snaps over both the lower and upper dental arch and is supported by metal hinges. Another advice that can be fitted by your dentist is a Tongue Retaining Device. The Tongue Retaining Device holds the tongue in its proper position to allow the airways to remain open.
If you would like more information regarding Sleep Apnea and dental appliances for Sleep Apnea, schedule an appointment with your dentist today. After all, there is nothing better than a good night’s sleep.