Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where breathing is briefly but repeatedly interrupted when sleeping. The apnea in the term sleep apnea refers to a pause in the breathing for a minimum of 10 seconds. This condition occurs when the muscles in the rear of the throat collapse and fail to keep the airway open despite making efforts to breathe. The problem of obstructive sleep apnea is most common despite another form of sleep apnea known as Central sleep apnea also affecting people whereby the brain fails to control breathing properly when sleeping.
Sleep apnea can cause fragmented sleep and lower levels of blood oxygen. People with sleep apnea often suffer from hypertension, mood and memory problems, heart disease, and are also at a higher risk of drowsy driving. Over 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and the condition affects people from all groups and sexes.
People affected by sleep apnea can either visit a sleep physician or the Sugar Land dentist who is a qualified dental sleep medicine specialist. Doctors and sleep medicine specialists will recommend positive airway machines that can be used with different breathing masks for the treatment of moderate to severe sleep apnea. However, the condition must not be left untreated because of the problems it can cause as described earlier.
The positive airway machines that are also known as CPAP machines are not comfortable and shunned by people who are affected by this problem. Most people are unable to adhere to these machines because of the discomfort they cause. In such cases, people must consider visiting the dentist in Sugar Land who can provide them with an oral appliance for the treatment of sleep apnea.
Oral Appliances have been gaining popularity as awareness has grown among people about their effectiveness as a first-line of treatment for people affected by sleep apnea. The FDA has approved over 100 different oral Appliances for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. These devices can be worn in the mouth just like a mouthguard or an orthodontic appliance when sleeping. These appliances hold the lower jaw in a forward position to keep the airway open and prevent the tongue and muscles in the upper airway from blocking it by collapsing.
The oral appliance therapy pioneered by dentists is an effective non-invasive treatment that can fit easily into your lifestyle. Patients are preferring oral appliance therapy because it is:
The oral appliance therapy has been approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as a first-line treatment for people diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It is also recommended for people with severe OSA that are unable to tolerate the CPAP machines.
Purchasing oral Appliances over-the-counter or from online stores is not difficult because they are available in most drug stores. However, it must be remembered that these devices are not approved by the FDA for the treatment of sleep apnea. Over-the-counter Appliances can cause side effects such as problems with the jaw or tooth movement or even worsen the condition of sleep apnea.
If you have the problem of snoring or believe you could be having sleep apnea you must contact your primary care physician for help to schedule a sleep study to determine whether you have OSA. If it is determined that you are affected by the condition you should be getting sleep apnea treatment in Sugar Land where the appliance will be custom fitted by a dentist specially trained in dental sleep medicine.
The dentist in Sweetwater Dental Studio will conduct a full evaluation of your teeth, mouth, and temporomandibular joint to ensure your teeth and jaw structure are healthy to wear the oral appliance. After the examination molds of your teeth will be taken and a follow-up appointment scheduled for fitting your custom-made oral appliance. Custom-made oral Appliances are adjustable and therefore the dentist will be working with you to maintain your jaw position by regularly monitoring your progress. The treatment for sleep apnea will not only help you to overcome the problem of snoring but will also help you sleep better and allow your sleeping partner the freedom of enjoying a good night’s sleep.