When people suffer from Sleep Apnea – interruption of sleep due to the airway closing – they may think there are a few ways of managing their condition that don’t require surgery. If someone has sleep apnea and visits a sleep specialist, there is a very high chance they’ll be recommended a CPAP Machine.
A Consistent Positive Airway Pressure machine is a device that constantly pushes air into a sleeper’s throat using a facial mask attached to a small air compressor. This is the most effective method of treating sleep apnea, but it has some major problems. Many people have difficulty sleeping in a mask that covers their nose and mouth, plus their movement while in bed can be greatly limited. CPAPs are especially difficult for stomach-sleepers.
For those with serious Sleep Apnea, CPAP machines may be the only viable alternative to surgery. However, for those whose apnea is less severe, their local Cedar Park family dentist may have a much more comfortable solution!
How Oral Appliances (Alternatives to CPAP Machines) Can Help Alleviate Mild-Moderate Sleep Apnea
Dentists are well accustomed to reshaping the mouth through the use of oral appliances. They’re highly effective in orthodontics and, as it turns out, they can work quite well for sleep apnea too. In many situations, your dentist can create customized appliances designed to keep your throat open and encourage regular breathing throughout the night.
These appliances generally come in two types:
- Tongue retention. The appliance is designed to fit onto the lower jaw and keep the tongue pushed forward. The tongue slipping backward into the throat is one common cause of sleep apnea.
- Mandibular repositioning.These appliances focus on pushing the entire jaw forward slightly. This also has the effect of opening up the throat.
For sleepers, these create a much more comfortable alternative to wearing a full mask attached to hoses. They’re also much easier to transport and create no problems for co-sleepers either. For many sleep apnea sufferers, these oral appliances are all they need to get a good night’s sleep.
For Those with Sleep Apnea, Your Cedar Park Dentist Can Help!
If you have sleep apnea, the first step towards a solution is having your condition evaluated by the professionals from Reveal Dental Cosmetic, Family & Implant Dentistry. Make an appointment!