We provide dental sleep treatment for patients that are struggling with snoring issues or obstructive sleep apnea. If you or your spouse is a loud sleeper and wakes up feeling tired and unrefreshed, you may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. The condition is so common that according to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 18 million Americans are living with it on a regular basis. There are specific risk factors that can increase the chance of developing the condition including being overweight and over the age of forty. Still, with so many Americans living with the condition, everyone is at risk.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the jaw and tongue fall backwards. As a result, the airways are blocked, decreasing air flow and disrupting sleep. By making it difficult to breath, the body doesn’t get the oxygen necessary to operate at an optimized level and spends much of the night, grasping for breathe. As a result, people wake up feeling exhausted, and other physical ailments can occur as a result including high blood pressure and heart problems.
Dental sleep treatment serves to make it easier for a person to breathe by preventing air flow from becoming restricted in the first place. We do so, using a removable oral appliance. An oral appliance is typically created out of a plastic material after taking an impression of your teeth. The device looks similar to a full upper and lower retainer that surrounds the teeth entirely. While surrounding the teeth, the device can simultaneously connect so that the jaw is held in place throughout the night. As the jaw is held in position, the tongue is unable to fall backwards; therefore the tongue cannot block the airway.
The concept is fairly simplistic, and the oral appliances we create are designed to fit securely and comfortably around the teeth. Since there are no additional pieces of equipment that are necessary, this is a convenient and more comfortable alternative to a traditional CPAP machine. While effective, CPAP can be bulky, noisy and make it difficult for an individual, and their partner, to get any sleep. We find that many people simply give up using the machine, as a result. An oral appliance is a superior alternative due to the level of convenience that it provides, given how small and portable it is. Those that can wear a retainer can use a removable oral appliance with the same level of daily effort.
If you believe that you may have a sleep disorder either by how you sound at night or how you feel, we encourage you to learn more about dental sleep treatment due to the positive impact it can have your life and your health. As an example, the National Traffic Safety Administration reports that driving while drowsy or tired accounts for approximately 100,000 car accidents every year. Given how those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea live in a constant state of exhaustion, it is clear how important getting improved sleep can be.