Are Oral Appliances an Effective Treatment for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while sleeping. This can be anywhere from ten seconds or longer. There are a variety of treatments available to help with the illness.
Some turned to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in the past. However, this option can be uncomfortable. The small bedside machine can be noisy at night. Plus, the mask that fits tightly over your mouth and nose can make it hard to fall asleep. Lastly, the average compliance rate for this treatment is 50%, after three-months time. This makes it an ineffective option for a lot of people.
The good news is, there are other alternative treatments to sleep apnea in the form of oral appliances.
What Exactly Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can be a scary disorder. It occurs when a person experiences blockage around their air passages and airflow stops repeatedly while sleeping. Patients can wake up feeling groggy, and often can’t shake this in the early hours of the morning. The condition’s linked to an increased risk of obesity, stroke, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, high blood pressure, as well as diabetes.
Sleep apnea also increases the chances of accidents, including car crashes. This is because the lack of good sleep leads to daytime tiredness.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms Include:
- Loud snoring.
- Choking during sleep.
- Gasping for air while sleeping.
- Dozing off during ordinary or routine tasks, which can include driving.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Poor memory.
- Waking up often during the night.
- Having headaches in the morning.
- Mood issues.
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat.
Sleep Apnea Treatments: Can Oral Appliances Help?
It’s important to note that the above signs of sleep apnea might not mean you have the condition. The first step would be an evaluation at your dentist in Tulsa, which could require a sleep study. The next step is to diagnose the disorder and come up with treatment options.
While CPAP is effective for some, it can be bothersome to many. This is when other alternatives need to be explored. Often, patients will turn to oral appliances to address their sleep apnea.
In fact, this treatment has risen in popularity over the years. You wear them in your mouth while you sleep. They resemble an orthodontic appliance or mouthguard. They hold your lower jaw forward enough to keep airways open. Plus, oral appliances prevent your tongue and upper airway muscles from collapsing and blocking air.
They are just as effective as CPAP. Studies have also revealed they can help place blood pressure under control, which at times increases due to sleep apnea.
How Oral Appliances Work
An oral appliance is custom-fit for your mouth. A Tulsa dentist will make impressions to create a device that can be placed over your teeth and jaw structure, perfectly. Lastly, your dentist will help show you how to use it and ways to keep it clean.
When you initially start using the oral appliance, your dentist will monitor your progress. The device may need adjustments, which is not uncommon. In addition, a follow-up appointment will be made to ensure your device fits well and is working properly.
It’ll take time to adapt to your oral appliance. Eventually, you’ll grow accustomed to it. In the end, it will help you sleep better at night. This will ultimately give you more energy throughout the day.
Benefits To A Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance
This treatment is an effective and non-invasive way to battle sleep apnea. Many patients prefer an oral appliance over CPAPs because:
- They are easy to wear and comfortable.
- They fit nicely into your lifestyle.
- There’s no noise linked to them.
- They are easy to take care of.
- They are portable, which is convenient when traveling.
Schedule A Sleep Study Evaluation in Tulsa, OK
Is your snoring keeping your significant other up at night? Do you see symptoms of the condition in your everyday life? Have you ever been curious if you suffer from sleep apnea? This is where élan by Dr. Meghan Hodges can help.
Not only can we organize a sleep evaluation, but Dr. Hodges can help offer the best treatment options available for you. Our Tulsa dental office provides comfortable and customized oral appliances. Unlike CPAP, they simply sit in your mouth like a night guard while you sleep. Plus, they don’t require a loud machine, annoying hoses, or an awkward mask to treat your sleep apnea.
To learn more about this condition and oral appliances, or to book an appointment, please email élan Tulsa Cosmetic Dentistry, today!
élan Tulsa Cosmetic Dentistry
10031 S Yale Ave #104
Tulsa, OK 74137