What is Sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea, a prevalent sleep disorder, can significantly disrupt one's sleep by causing repeated pauses in breathing during the night. These interruptions often result from the relaxation of throat muscles, leading to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dental appliances, also known as mandibular advancement devices (MADs) or oral appliances, offer a valuable treatment option for individuals with mild to moderate OSA or those who cannot tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. These custom-fit devices are designed by dentists to be worn during sleep. They work by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward, which helps to keep the airway open and reduces the likelihood of airway collapse.
Dental appliances are more comfortable and less obtrusive than CPAP machines, making them a more appealing option for many patients. While they may not be suitable for severe cases of sleep apnea, dental appliances can be an effective and convenient solution for improving sleep quality and mitigating the health risks associated with the disorder. It's essential for individuals with sleep apnea to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for their specific condition, and to get a recent sleep study.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:
- Loud snoring
- Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep — which would be reported by another person
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Morning headache
- Difficulty staying asleep, known as insomnia
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, known as hypersomnia
- Difficulty paying attention while awake
The Mandibular advancement dental appliance.