Sleep Apnea Dentistry & Oral Appliances

More than 18 million Americans suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Click here to take the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to help determine your level of daytime sleepiness; a high number is a good indicator that you may have disrupted sleep. Click here to take the Sleep Apnea questionnaire.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):

OSA is a sleep-related breathing disorder that prevents airflow during sleep. OSA occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway, keeping air from getting to the lungs.

When the blood oxygen level drops low enough, the body wakes up, this may happen so quickly that the sleeper may not even remember it, however with such disrupted sleep, a person may find they are very tired the next day.

OSA patients are much more likely to suffer from strokes, heart problems and have a higher incidence of work and driving-related accidents.

What is snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Snoring is the sound of partially obstructed breathing during sleep, and while snoring may be harmless, it can also be a sign for a more serious medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). When OSA occurs, the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat and completely block the airway, which restricts the flow of oxygen. The condition known as Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) is midway between primary snoring and rue OSA. People with UARS suffer many of the symptoms of OSA but require special sleep testing techniques.

What are oral appliances?

Oral appliances that treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are small plastic devices that are worn in the mouth, similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouth guards. These appliances help prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, keeping the airway open during sleep and promoting adequate air intake. Currently, there are a variety of different oral appliances available and most of them are best used in combination with other means of treating OSA, including general health and weight management.

Advantages of using oral appliances for OSA:

Using oral appliances for OSA has several advantages over other forms of OSA treatments, including:

  • Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear. Most people find that it only takes a couple of weeks to become acclimated to wearing the appliance.
  • Oral appliances are small and convenient, making them easy to carry when traveling.
  • Treatment with oral appliances is reversible and non-invasive.
 

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