Oral appliance therapy is a treatment option for sleeping disorders such as snoring and mild cases of sleep apnea. If you or a loved one suffers from such a condition, you may want to consider treatment through an oral appliance. Here’s more about how oral appliance therapy works and the sleeping disorders it helps.
How Oral Appliance Therapy Works
Oral appliance therapy involves wearing an appliance, such as a mouth guard or a retainer, inside your mouth while you sleep. The appliance is designed to move your lower jaw forward, opening up your airway to improve your breathing while you sleep. Some appliances even restrict movement of your tongue so it doesn’t block your airway. A dentist or doctor will prescribe you to wear the appliance for a certain length of time, depending on your individual condition.
Why Oral Appliance Therapy is Necessary
Snoring is the result of the physical obstruction of your airflow while you sleep. It is more common in individuals who are overweight, but anyone may be prone to snoring. While your family or roommates may be bothered more by your snoring than you are, ongoing snoring is cause for concern, as it is a symptom of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which someone has instances of pausing in their breathing while they sleep. If sleep apnea is left untreated, it could potentially cause someone to stop breathing in their sleep, so it’s important to look for signs. Indicators include shallow or infrequent breathing, which could be the result of a physical block in the airflow, a lack of effort, or a combination of the two. Someone suffering from sleep apnea may not be aware of it.
The symptoms of sleep apnea can persist for decades and it usually takes a loved one sharing a room or a bed to notice it. For a proper diagnosis to be made, one must undergo a sleep test, which involves monitoring a patient while they sleep.
Consult With Your Dentist
If you or a loved one suffers from snoring or a more serious sleeping disorder, like sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be the solution. Because sleep apnea can have severe implications, don’t wait to consult a professional. If you have questions about oral appliance therapy, contact Daxon Dentistry today.