Sleep dentistry can improve your dental and general health. Sleep apnea can be obstructive in gaining good sleep and good health. That is why dentists participate in the treatment of this condition. The effects of maintaining good oral health spread to the entire body. If you want to know how sleep dentistry therapy can enhance…
Sleep Apnea Treatment: What Are Your Options?
Sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes sufferers to sleep poorly. Additionally, there is a huge medical risk as the airway becomes obstructed, thus resulting in a lack of flowing oxygen. The result is shortness of breath while sleeping, snoring and teeth grinding.
With the help of a general dentist, sufferers of sleep apnea can undergo oral appliance treatment, which aims to keep the airway clear and unobstructed through the use of custom-made oral appliances, known as mandibular advancement devices or tongue retaining devices. Keep reading to find out more!
Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea
Below is a quick overview of sleep apnea treatment when administered by a general dentist. This information can be helpful to sufferers who are curious about their treatment options.
Both of the following oral appliances come from a general dentistry office. They are most commonly used to treat sleep apnea outside of CPAP machines, which are typically administered by a doctor and dentist together.
Mandibular advancement devices
The most commonly used oral appliance for treating sleep apnea is a mandibular advancement device, also known as a MAD. MADS are used to hold the lower portion of the jaw in a forward position. Shaped like a mouthguard, a mandibular advancement device snaps over the upper and lower set of teeth, while securing on either end with metal hinges. Additionally, the hinges play a bigger role, which is to keep the lower jaw in a forward, or advanced position throughout the night. This advanced position prevents the airway from becoming obstructed.
Tongue retaining devices
A tongue retaining device is less commonly used compared to a mandibular advancement device; however, it is still an option that general dentists consider. Instead of being shaped like a mouth guard, a tongue retaining device appears more like a baby pacifier. It is a splint that holds the tongue in place, in an unnatural position. The tongue remains in the designated spot of the splint throughout the night, thus preventing it from slipping back and obstructing the airway.
Why oral appliances
Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea is known to produce very positive results. Because the tongue and jaw play such a big role in keeping the airway clear and unobstructed, it is important to utilize oral appliances that specifically target these parts of the mouth.
Getting started with sleep apnea treatment
When suffering from any form of sleep apnea, it is best to consult with a general dentist. While it may be surprising that dentists treat sleep apnea, it is actually becoming standard practice. Their expertise in all things relating to the oral cavity makes them the best point of contact when it comes to keeping the airway unobstructed.
To find out more about sleep apnea treatment options, specifically oral appliances, reach out today. Any questions or concerns can be appropriately addressed, and a treatment plan can be worked up to reduce, if not eliminate symptoms.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea in Santa Ana, CA.
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