An Oral Appliance Could Be A Treatment Option For Your Sleep Apnea

If you have sleep apnea, you may not realize your dentist can help. It depends on the type of apnea that you have and whether your doctor agrees an oral appliance would be effective. Here's some more information on this treatment for sleep apnea.

It Repositions Your Jaw And Tongue

There are two types of sleep apnea. The most common is obstructive sleep apnea, and this is the type a dentist can treat. The other type is caused by medical or neurological problems that an oral appliance won't help. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction in your airway when your body becomes totally relaxed as you sleep. This could be caused by your tongue falling back too far, your airway being narrowed by too much tissue, or even the pressure of excess fat against your airway when you stretch out in bed. When you're awake and upright, your airway stays open, so you breathe normally. When you fall asleep, relaxation causes the obstruction, which is also associated with heavy snoring.

When you visit a dentist for treatment, he or she chooses an oral appliance for you to wear when you sleep. It fits into your mouth in such a way that it holds your lower jaw open so your airway is held open once you fall asleep. If the treatment is effective, you won't snore anymore and you'll breathe freely throughout the night.

The Appliance Is Custom-Fitted

You can buy mouth guards made for snoring over-the-counter, but it isn't a good idea to use those for self-treatment of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that should be treated by a doctor. When you have your oral appliance made by a dentist, you know it will be safe and effective. Since you may not even realize you have sleep apnea at night, you want a solution you can put your trust in. A dentist makes sure the oral appliance fits your mouth exactly as it should so you get the results you want. He or she has different types to choose from and can determine which style will help you the most. Your doctor may then perform a sleep test on you while you wear the appliance just to make sure it's an effective solution. Another advantage of having a dentist fit you for the oral appliance is to ensure it is comfortable so it won't disturb your sleep. Also, if it feels comfortable, you'll be more likely to wear it like you should.

Sleep apnea can interfere with your life in a lot of ways. You can be constantly tired and at risk of an accident because of poor quality sleep. The condition can also affect your health due to the strain on your body and cardiovascular system from struggling to breathe. Proper treatment can be as easy as wearing an oral appliance so you can breathe well at night and enjoy restorative sleep. For more information or assistance, contact a local specialist, such as Jerry C Hu DDS Family Dentistry LLC.