There’s nothing better than settling down after a long day and finally getting a much-needed, restful night’s sleep. Unfortunately, if you struggle with sleep apnea, sleeping through the night is often just a dream, leaving you feeling groggy and affecting your quality of life.
Since sleep apnea can lead to a number of serious health issues, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, it’s essential to treat this issue as soon as possible.
Improving Sleep Apnea with An Oral Appliance
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
While there are three main causes of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea is the form that deals with your airway collapsing. As you sleep, the muscles in your neck can relax and allow soft tissue to block the flow of air to your lungs, ultimately preventing you from breathing.
When this occurs, your body will jolt you awake to allow you to resume normal breathing — sometimes more than once per minute through the night — leaving you unable to get a good night’s rest.
Your Mouth and Sleep Apnea
Your mouth and jaw might be contributing to your sleep apnea. As mentioned, this issue occurs when soft tissue blocks your airways. Your mouth can contribute to airway blockage if:
Your jaw is too small.
Your tongue is too large.
Your tonsils are too large.
The muscles in the back of your throat are too relaxed.
Sleep Medicine Improves Obstructive Sleep Apnea
One of the most common ways to address sleep apnea is through the use of a CPAP machine. However, not every patient has success with this machine, leaving them in need of alternative treatments.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends an oral appliance, also called a Mandibular Advancement Device for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea and for patients with severe sleep apnea who have not been successfully treated with a CPAP machine. These appliances can improve issues related to:
Upper Airway Resistance
An oral appliance, which is similar to a mouth guard device, moves your jaw slightly forward, helping to open your airways and compensate for the issues — such as a small jaw or enlarged tongue — that contribute to obstructive sleep apnea.
If you feel consistently tired, have trouble concentrating, or have ever stopped breathing while asleep, you should have a sleep test done to determine if you suffer from sleep apnea.
Address Your Sleep Apnea at ProHEALTH Dental
At ProHEALTH Dental, every patient that comes into the office is screened for sleep apnea. We aim to address the seriousness of this disease and prevent the numerous health issues that can occur if it’s left untreated.
We invite you to contact us to schedule a consultation and find out how an Oral Sleep Appliance can change your life.