Oral Appliance Therapy|
Have you been told that you snore at night? Do you wake up not feeling refreshed, struggling with fatigue and headaches during the day? If so, there’s a very good chance that you’re suffering from a condition known as “obstructive sleep apnea.” Caused by a variety of factors that lead to the muscles in your throat becoming constricted in your sleep and closing of your airways, obstructive sleep apnea is a very serious condition that can lead to suffocation, heart attack, and even death. Seeking immediate treatment here at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic + Family Dentistry can help improve your quality of life and minimize your risk of dangerous side effects of this common medical condition.
Using Oral Appliance Therapy to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
While CPAP (“Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”) is generally the recommended treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, it comes with a host of problems that lead to poor compliance in patients – to the tune of less than 50% of sleep apnea sufferers using them regularly! Many people find CPAP machines to be uncomfortable and ill-fitting, leading to a refusal to use them. These machines can be noisy and can disturb sleeping partners, making it a poor choice for patients who aren’t using it properly.
Fortunately, for these patients, there is another option available to them. Known as oral appliance therapy, these involve the implementation of a variety of devices that can help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, which include:
|Snoring at night
|Dry mouth or a sore throat
|Headaches (especially in the morning)
|Daytime fatigue and needing naps
|Choking during sleep
|Poor mood and irritability
People who are at elevated risk of sleep apnea are those who are obese, men, older people, people with enlarged tonsils or narrow airways, and people who breathe through their mouth due to allergies or infection.
Fortunately for people who are resistant to using CPAP, oral appliance therapy is a viable option for them. A mandibular advancement device or mandibular splint can greatly reduce the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, leading to an overall improvement in your quality of life.
When you come to our office with complaints of snoring and poor sleep, we’ll take them very seriously. During your exam, we’ll do an X-ray of your mouth and thoroughly check your teeth, tongue, throat, and jaw. If we determine that you have obstructive sleep apnea, then we’ll move forward with fitting you with your nighttime appliance, starting with taking impressions of your mouth to get a proper fit of the device.
Getting your mandibular splint to fit properly may take several appointments with adjustments to ensure that it’s comfortable and reduces your symptoms of sleep apnea. We’ll educate you on how to use your appliance as well as how to keep it clean and sanitary when you’re not using it.
With the compliance of CPAP machines as low as it is, and the dangers of untreated obstructive sleep apnea as high as they are, getting prompt attention for your snoring is vital for your overall health and wellbeing. Plus, doesn’t your partner also deserve a good night’s sleep, free from the loud drone of your snores?
If you have any questions about obstructive sleep apnea or want to know how you could benefit from oral appliance therapy, please give us a call here at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic + Family Dentistry at (908) 647-4441 and allow us to help schedule a consultation for treatment and answer any questions you may have!