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Sleep Apnea affects millions of people all over the world, with 16 million in the United States alone.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder that could be life threatening. Snoring is a sign that you may have Sleep Apnea, but not all people who snore have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which is more common that Central Sleep Apnea, which happens when your brain is not sending the right signals to your brain in order to control your breathing. OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the muscles in your throat begin to relax.

Talk to you dentist about Sleep Apnea if you find yourself waking up unable to catch your breath, have driven your partner into the guest room because of your uncontrollable snoring, or wake up more tired than you were when you fell asleep the night before.

Some of the symptoms and signs of both types of Sleep Apnea include hypersomnia, or sleeping during the day, snoring, and a morning headache. If your partner has witnessed you experiencing shortness of breath or waking up abruptly unable to breathe, you could be suffering from Sleep Apnea. If you wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth, have difficulty staying awake, are falling asleep while you are watching television, working or driving, it may be time to see your doctor who will recommend a sleep study to determine if you have Sleep Apnea.

If you are diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, you do not have to resort to one of those cumbersome CPAP machines as dentists these days can treat your Sleep Apnea with a Custom Made Dental Appliance that you wear while you sleep.

Dental Appliances or Oral Appliances are small plastic devices that are custom made to fit in your mouth, much like a mouthguard that is worn for sports, or a retainer. Oral Appliances help keep your airway open while you sleep insuring that you have enough air intake. Your dentist will use Oral Appliance therapy on its own, or combine it with additional treatments such as weight management.

Dentists who are trained can provide you with Oral Appliance therapy by fitting you with an oral appliance that you will wear while you sleep. Doctors and dentists recommend custom-made oral appliances as opposed to over the counter sleeping treatments, as they are much more effective. Your dentist is familiar with the different custom made dental appliances that are used to treat both types of Sleep Apnea and can determine what product is best for your particular needs.

Some of the advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy include ease of wear and convenience. Anyone who has every used a CPAP machine knows how difficult it can be to travel with one.

Oral Appliances work by increasing the muscle tone in your tongue and repositioning your uvula, soft palate, tongue, and lower jaw. Oral Appliances custom made by your dentist can also stabilize your tongue and lower jaw.  

Sleep Apnea can be life threatening, and if you have a tough time keeping your eyes open after what you thought was a good night’s sleep, schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist.

June 01, 2014 | Uncategorized Back to Blog

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