Sleep plays an essential role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting good quality sleep helps to protect your mental and physical health. In the long run, it improves your quality of life. But still, many people do not get the required sleep due to sleeping disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially severe sleep disorder. It causes breathing to stop repeatedly due to reduced or interrupted respiratory airflow.
Snoring can be an indicator of a health disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. It can also lead to other cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and coronary artery diseases. Snoring is even worsened when a person sleeps on his back as this encourages the lower jaw to slip back, which in turn pushes the tongue in front of the airway.
What is Oral appliance therapy?
Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can be treated effectively with the help of oral appliance therapy. This appliance is a custom-made device that can improve your sleep, improve concentration and rejuvenate your health. These oral appliance devices, when worn during sleep, act as an orthodontic retainer. This retainer helps to support the jaw in a forward position to maintain an open upper airway. Various researches have shown that oral appliance therapy has proven effective in treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. If a person is suffering from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, oral appliances or mouth guards may be the best solution to treat the problem.
How is Oral Appliance Therapy used to treat snoring and sleep apnea?
Oral appliance therapy is a non-invasive treatment that is very effective in treating snoring and sleep apnea. The oral appliance devices have many advantages like:
- They are comfortable to wear.
- A patient is at ease while wearing it.
- It does not require much maintenance.
- It is portable and hence convenient for travel.
How can Dentistry help treat snoring?
Dentists are closely associated with physicians to treat snoring and sleep apnea. The dentist, after a complete evaluation of the patient, will suggest the best course of treatment. This includes an examination of your teeth, jaw, tongue, and airways. If you decide on oral appliance therapy as the best option, the dentist will prescribe a custom-made oral appliance. This treatment is based on a great deal of research-backed by scientific evidence. It is the best option to try out before moving on to more complicated breathing devices or surgery to remove the throat's excess tissues. Only a dentist can fabricate, fit, adjust and treat the complications associated with the oral appliance therapy.
What types of oral or mouth devices available?
These devices, which are fitted by your dentist, must be worn in the mouth at night.
- Mandibular advancement device (MAD):These devices resemble a very mouth guard, which is used in sports. The devices snap over the upper and lower dental arches and have metal hinges that allow the lower jaw to be eased forward. Some devices like the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) will enable you to control the degree of advancement. It is the most commonly used mouth device for snoring and sleep apnea.
- Tongue retaining device: This device consists of a splint that holds the tongue in place to keep the airway open. For people with sleep apnea, these kinds of dental appliances may improve sleep and reduce snoring's loudness.
What is the process of fitting the Oral Appliances?
The oral appliances are customized for each patient based on the digital or physical impressions and models of your teeth. These models are sent to a dental lab where the appliance is constructed. Once the device is ready, your dentist will check the appliance for the exact fit and maximize its comfort and effectiveness. Instructions will be given on how to clean and maintain it.
Call us at Briarwood Family Dentistry or schedule an online appointment to know more about Snore Appliances.