Millions of people — and by extension, their partners — suffer from the effects of snoring. More than just a sleep disturbance, it’s often a sign of a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The most common treatment for OSA is a CPAP machine to aid in proper breathing, but Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry in East Hanover, NJ can help with an alternative treatment in the form of an oral appliance to wear while you’re asleep.
Q: What causes sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is most commonly seen in individuals considered obese or overweight, individuals over 50, smokers and males. Certain sleep positions can also contribute. With OSA the sleeper’s airway is obstructed as the muscles relax during sleep, restricting airflow to the rest of the body. The sleeper with OSA may awaken multiple times through the night, gasping for air, and usually wakes up feeling tired. He or she may fall asleep during the day without meaning to and may have issues with memory and concentration.
Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. How does the oral appliance work?
While CPAP therapy is the most commonly prescribed treatment for sleep apnea, an oral appliance offers a similar result with less restriction. Both are different ways of preventing the collapse of the airway during sleep, when the soft tissues in the mouth are more relaxed.
Instead of the pressure of constant airflow keeping the airway open during sleep, as is the case with CPAP therapy, the oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to prevent the airway from collapsing. The appliance repositions the bottom jaw, moving it forward to keep the soft tissue from collapsing over the airway. They are constructed to be sturdy enough to withstand bruxism, or teeth grinding, so that even those who grind their teeth at night can benefit from its therapeutic benefits.
Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?
Your Metropolitan dentist meets with patients for an individual consultation where they will examine the mouth and make sure you’re fitted correctly and comfortably. The device repositions the jaw while you sleep, but it’s designed to fit comfortably inside the mouth so as to disrupt your sleep as little as possible. Most patients report less snoring and better sleep while using the oral appliance.
Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get it?
What makes an oral device thoroughly effective and comfortable is that it is custom-fitted to the individual patient’s mouth. Your Metropolitan dentist will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure the device is as comfortable as possible. The last thing we at Metropolitan want is for you to stop snoring but then wake up with a sore jaw!
Oral Appliance to Treat Sleep Apnea in East Hanover, NJ
Our caring staff at Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry in East Hanover, NJ wants to help you get better sleep. Call (973) 287-3153 or schedule an appointment online today.