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Dental Appliances: How Can It Treat Sleep Apnea

Dental Appliances: How Can It Treat Sleep Apnea

Sleep disorders are growing increasingly common, with millions worldwide struggling to get a good night’s rest. One of the most severe sleep problems is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Fortunately, several treatments are available for OSA, including lifestyle changes and medical devices. Another option that many people need to learn about is dental appliances. This article will discuss how these appliances work and how they can help treat OSA.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Its Causes

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a severe sleep disorder. This occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep, causing breathing to repeatedly stop and start. In a matter of moments, the oxygen levels in your blood decrease, and carbon dioxide levels increase. This, in turn, increases the heart rate causing an increase in blood pressure. Oxygen levels in the body steadily decline until the brain senses an obstruction and signals to gasp or cough, thus clearing any blockages before another apnea episode ensues. This can lead to poor sleep quality and other health problems such as daytime fatigue, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and more.

Various factors, including obesity, smoking or alcohol use, genetics, enlarged tonsils or adenoids in children, and certain medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease, can cause OSA.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

OSA can be reversed by getting sufficient air into the lungs. There are two ways.

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a machine that keeps the airway open using pressurized air. It is the most commonly prescribed treatment for OSA, although it can be uncomfortable and inconvenient to use.
  • Specialized FDA-approved dental appliances. These are custom-made devices worn in the mouth while sleeping to keep the throat open by moving the lower jaw forward slightly. Dental appliances are smaller and more comfortable than CPAP machines and can be used with either the mouth or nose.

Benefits of Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea

Dental appliances for sleep apnea are non-invasive and do not interfere with your usual breathing patterns, making them easier to wear while sleeping. They are convenient, portable, comfortable, and very effective. Studies have shown that using a dental appliance can effectively reduce the number of apneas per hour by 30% – 50%. In addition, dental appliances are often more affordable than CPAP machines and can be used with a variety of sleep positions.

There are a wide variety of dental appliances available. Each piece is customized to the patient’s size and comfort.

Dental sleep apnea clinic appliances offer an effective treatment for OSA, providing several benefits over other treatments. They are comfortable, do not interfere with your usual breathing patterns, and can reduce the number of apneas per hour. If you have been diagnosed with OSA, talk to a certified dental doctor specializing in OSA about whether a dental appliance might be an option.