Oral Appliance Therapy from Dentists An Effective Remedy for Sleep Apnea

The CPAP device is the preferred method for treating obstructive sleep apnea. However, the device is challenging to adhere to as it must be worn over the mouth when sleeping. If you are confirmed as a sleep apnea patient, you can consider an alternative treatment provided by the sleep apnea dentist near me as an effective remedy for sleep apnea. The oral appliance pioneered by dentists is similar to a mouthguard and is comfortable, portable, and affordable than the CPAP device.

What Is Obstructive Sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a severe sleep-related disorder occurring when your breathing is repeatedly interrupted when sleeping. You may stop breathing several times when sleeping if you leave sleep apnea untreated. The sleep disturbances may occur hundreds of times during the night.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common among the three varieties of sleep apnea reported among patients. The other two are central and mixed sleep apnea. OSA occurs when your upper airway is blocked partially or entirely when sleeping. During an episode of sleep apnea, the diaphragm and chest muscles must work strenuously because the pressure increases to open the airway. Your breathing recommences with a loud-mouthed gasp or body twitch. Sleep apnea episodes interfere with sound sleep, reduce oxygen flow to vital organs and cause heart rhythm problems.

What Are the Causes of OSA?

OSA is precipitated by a blockage of the airway when the soft tissue at the back of the throat gives when sleeping. People with central nervous system dysfunction usually suffer from central sleep apnea. These are people who have either had a stroke or neuromuscular diseases. The condition is also common among patients with heart failure and other types of cardiac and pulmonary disease.

Symptoms of OSA

The patient does not recognize the initial signs of OSA unless they receive information from their bed partners. If you are affected by OSA, you may not have any sleep complaints. Common symptoms of OSA are the following:

  • Snoring.
  • Restlessness when sleeping.
  • Daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
  • Sudden awakenings with gasping or choking.
  • Intellectual impairment like trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, and irritability.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Headaches.

Adults are not the only people affected by obstructive sleep apnea, which can also affect children. OSA’s symptoms in children include:

  • Daytime mouth breathing and challenges swallowing.
  • Poor school performance.
  • Sluggishness or sleepiness.
  • Unusual sleeping positions.
  • Et cetera.

What Are the Adverse Effects of OSA?

Obstructive sleep apnea results in many health problems when it is left untreated. The health problems include hypertension, stroke, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and heart attacks. Additionally, untreated sleep apnea is also responsible for job impairment, work-related accidents, and motor-vehicle accidents besides academic underachievement among children and adolescents.

What If You Are Diagnosed with OSA?

If you are diagnosed with OSA by sleep apnea doctors, they offer you treatment options with the CPAP device considered the gold standard for treating sleep apnea. The CPAP device may not work for you for various reasons. An alternative is an oral appliance therapy available from the dentist’s office near me. The oral appliance resembles a mouth guard usually used by athletes.

How Does Oral Appliance Therapy from Dentists Function for Treating OSA?

If you have mild or moderate OSA, the dental appliance prevents your tongue from blocking the throat by advancing your lower jaw in a forward position. These devices help keep your airway open when sleeping. A sleep medicine specialist and the San Diego dentist from modern dentistry with expertise in these appliances will together determine whether the treatment is best for you.

How to Order the Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea?

You can discuss with the sleep apnea doctor if an oral appliance is an appropriate option for you to receive a referral to the San Diego dentist for an evaluation. The dentist decides if you are a candidate for this treatment before making an impression of your teeth. The dentist creates the appliance before calling you back for a fitting. You also receive a morning repositioner for bite alignment after removing the device. You receive instructions on using and cleaning the appliance and may need to revisit the dentist for customized adjustments. After the initial care is completed, you must have another sleep test to understand whether the oral appliance is appropriate for you. Further adjustments may also be necessary.

Oral appliance therapy can improve obstructive sleep apnea symptoms and offer you an alternative if you cannot adhere to the CPAP device. The oral appliance doesn’t require electricity, is portable, and, most importantly, quiet, and is an effective remedy for many people’s sleep apnea.

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