If you suffer from sleep problems, you are not alone. It is estimated that 70 million Americans have sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, and even more people snore. At Smiles4OC in Costa Mesa, CA, we offer patients a comfortable way to stop snoring, treat sleep apnea, start sleeping better—oral appliance therapy.
Do you snore excessively? Do you suffer from daytime fatigue? Do you awake during the night with shortness of breath? You may suffer from the life-threatening sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. About 1 in every 15 Americans suffer from sleep apnea and it is a problem that many don’t even realize they might have. But what does this have to do with dentistry? Because sleep apnea is caused by an airway obstruction, the disorder can be treated through the mouth. The Thorton adjustable positioner, or Tap appliance is one of the more popular ways to treat sleep apnea. When the jawbone yes lax, the tongue and soft tissue obstruct the airway. The tap appliance advances the jaw bone, allowing the air to flow freely and making sleep more restful throughout the night. If you think you might suffer from sleep apnea, talk to your dentist today about possible treatment options.
Obstructive sleep apnea explained
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs when your airway becomes blocked while you sleep. There are a number of reasons this can happen, but in many cases, it is due to the tongue or other soft tissues in the mouth collapsing into the throat area, where it inhibits your ability to breathe. When this happens, your brain and vital organs don’t receive the oxygen that is critical for their function, so your brain sends a signal that startles your body awake. This cycle can repeat hundreds of times per night and can have a severe negative impact on your overall health. Sleep apnea has been linked to several deadly conditions, such as an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, and mood disorders.
Sleep apnea symptoms
Each person’s individual sleep apnea symptoms vary. They can include:
- Chronic snoring
- Frequent waking during the night
- Gasping or choking sensation while sleeping
- Episodes where you stop breathing
- Dry mouth upon awakening
Treating sleep apnea with an oral device
Oral appliances (snore guards) for sleep apnea are a less expensive, easier, and more comfortable sleep apnea treatment and snoring cure than traditional therapies such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. Many patients struggle with CPAP therapy because it is a bulky machine that is loud, needs a source of electricity, and requires you to wear an uncomfortable face mask while you sleep. In addition, some patients are allergic to the mask or find that it causes them to suffer from sinus problems.
A sleep apnea mouth guard is a great alternative for many patients. Sleep apnea devices from your dentist are approved by the FDA for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, and look similar to a sports mouth guard. They are designed to keep your jaw and tongue in a slightly forward position while you sleep, preventing your soft tissues from collapsing and relieving the symptoms of sleep apnea. At Smiles4OC, we custom-make your sleep apnea device for a comfortable fit. They are easy to travel with, more affordable than a CPAP machine, and discreet.
To learn more about oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea, call our Costa Mesa, CA office today at (714) 557-0700.