If you and your sleeping partner are suffering from the effects of snoring, you may be experiencing a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). While many OSA cases are treated with a CPAP machine, there is an alternative treatment available in some cases. An oral appliance can treat sleep apnea and can be obtained from your dentist. Learn more about oral sleep appliance therapy for sleep apnea with Davidsonville, MD dentists Wooddell & Passaro.
Q: What causes sleep apnea?
There are many risk factors for sleep apnea, but it is most commonly associated with obesity or excess weight. As the muscles relax during sleep, excess tissue around the airway can obstruct air flow and cause the patient to stop breathing. The sleeper often awakes gasping for air, wakes up multiple times without knowing it, constantly feels tired, or even has trouble with memory and concentration.
Q: Is the oral appliance an alternative to CPAP sleep apnea treatment?
In some cases, an oral appliance can be a suitable alternative to CPAP therapy. Drs. Wooddell & Passaro work with the patient and their sleep physician to coordinate a sleep study and determine the right treatment for each case.
Both the CPAP machine and oral appliance are ways of keeping the airway open during sleep. The oral device repositions the bottom jaw, moving it forward to keep the soft tissue in the neck from obstructing the airway. It’s sturdy enough to withstand teeth grinding, so even patients who grind their teeth at night can use it to treat sleep apnea.
Q: Is the sleep apnea oral appliance comfortable?
Your dentist will examine your mouth and neck to ensure you’re fitted comfortably and correctly. Although the device is designed to reposition the jaw, it fits comfortably inside the mouth so you are able to sleep and get enough air. Most patients and their sleep partners who use the oral appliance report a reduction in snoring while using the device.
Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get it?
If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you can visit Dr. Wooddell or Dr. Passaro to receive an order for a sleep study. They will work with you and a sleep physician to determine the best course of action. If an oral appliance is determined to be a good fit, we will meet with you to get detailed measurements and fit you for the oral appliance.
Our caring staff at Wooddell & Passaro Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry in Davidsonville, MD wants to help you get better sleep. Call (410) 343-7075 or schedule an appointment online today.