If you have sleep apnea and have trouble using a CPAP, or a continuous positive airway pressure, machine while you sleep, you may be a good candidate for a sleep apnea dental device to treat your sleep apnea. Some people do not even know they have sleep apnea unless they have someone in their life that is with them when they sleep and can tell them they have it.
To confirm this then you should get a referral from your doctor to have a sleep study. A sleep study will pinpoint just how many episodes of sleep apnea you actually have during the night, how long they last and figure out just how severe your condition is.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition in which a person stops breathing during sleep for a few seconds up to as long as a minute and upon resuming normal breathing snorts or snores loudly. Sleep apnea occurs many times during the night and can cause the person afflicted with this disorder to not get sufficient rest at night and can contribute to a type of chronic fatigue.
Chronic fatigue can cause you to not be as sharp mentally as you need to be during the day and at work, which can end up affecting your daily life in many negative ways. Decreased productivity at work can cause you to lose your job or inattentive driving can cause you to have an accident and injure yourself or someone else.
One way to combat the effects of sleep apnea is to wear a sleep apnea dental device. These devices mold to your mouth and hold your tongue and palate in place, keeping your airway open so you can breathe throughout the night and wake up rested and rejuvenated.
These dental devices are used mainly in the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea in patients not are not dealing with obesity who cannot use the CPAP machine at night due to claustrophobia or other forms of intolerance to the equipment and can reduce the severity of sleep apnea by up to 60%.
There are two main types of dental devices for the treatment of sleep apnea. The first is a tongue repositioning device and is custom fitted to the patient’s lower jaw and works by raising the soft palate and keeping the tongue from falling back and blocking the patient’s airway.
The second dental device is called a mandibular repositioning device which actually repositions the jaw creating much needed space behind the tongue therefore keeping the airway open, reducing the frequency of the sleep apnea and also greatly reduces snoring. You will need to be closely monitored by your dentist to maintain the fit of the device and make sure it is working properly.
Sleep apnea can occur up to 30 times or more per hour when you are sleeping and severe cases may require surgery as a corrective measure, especially in cases in which the patient is diagnosed with blockages in their nose or throat.
The dental devices available are very effective in the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea but the patient may complain of tooth pain, mouth or jaw soreness. Your dentist will tell you that these side effects should subside and you will get used to the sleep apnea dental device in a few weeks to a few months.