Oral Appliance Therapy
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea will find the best solutions at DiMeo Family Dental. Obstructive sleep apnea is a severe condition that manifests as the disruption of sleep throughout the night. The condition is often symptomized by loud snoring, sudden awakening from sleep coupled with gasping for air, a dry mouth, and sore throat upon waking.
Obstructive sleep apnea is listed among the risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure, mood swings, and irritability. Because of the consistent lack of sleep, the condition is also associated with morning headaches, difficulty concentrating on one’s work as well as excessive sleepiness during the day. To treat obstructive sleep apnea, we often recommend oral appliance therapy to eliminate the symptoms, open your airways to improve your sleep quality and enhance your overall health.
What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
It is a treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea that entails placing a detachable oral appliance in your mouth during sleep. The device, which replicates an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouthguard, keeps your airway open by supporting the jaw forwards and holding the tongue down in its place.
You need to be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea before we prescribe the oral appliance. Even though Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is an alternative treatment, we recommend oral appliance therapy because it is easier to use. You can easily carry around your oral appliance, and you also won’t have to bear with restricted movement and annoying noise, as in the case of the CPAP machine. After you start using the oral appliance, you get used to its presence in your mouth in a couple of weeks.
Even though oral appliances can be bought over the counter, seeking treatment for obstructive sleep apnea with us has the advantage of providing a custom-made option. We do this by taking dental x-rays to examine your case, taking an impression of your mouth and oral structures, and ordering a custom-made appliance that is optimal for your case.
Types of Oral Appliances for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
There are two major types of oral appliances that we recommend for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. We prescribe the mandibular repositioning device when the obstruction or your airways is caused by the position of your jaws during sleep. In this case, the device is placed in the mouth to push forward your jaw while repositioning the tongue downwards to keep your airways clear. The device also improves the rigidity of the airway by increasing the flexibility of the muscles of the tongue. Overall, mandibular repositioning devices are the most common oral appliances for the treatment of the condition.
The tongue retaining device prevents your tongue sliding around and instead holds it in place to ensure that it doesn’t block your airways while you sleep. Both types are usually molded from plastic to fit in your mouth and have a retainer to keep them in place.
Visit us and speak to our sleep specialist about your disrupted sleep or your problem with snoring. If you prefer to book an appointment before your visit, call us at (772) 362-9555 at DiMeo Family Dental any time of day and book your appointment.