Treating Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy

Do I Have Sleep Apnea Delray Beach, FL

Sleep apnea is sometimes treated with an oral appliance. It can be an effective approach if you are dealing with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Sleep apnea leads to interruptions to your breathing during sleep, forcing you to wake up for a few seconds to restart your breathing.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the more common type of the disorder. It is caused by an obstacle blocking your airway as you sleep. The condition is often accompanied by snoring. An oral appliance can help to reposition your tongue and jaw, making it easier to breathe as you sleep.

Addressing sleep apnea with an oral appliance

Sleep apnea might seem like a minor health issue, but that could not be further from the truth. OSA is a serious condition that can lead to a variety of mental and physical health issues like dementia and heart disease. These illnesses are often a result of the stress OSA puts on the body and brain. People with sleep apnea often end up not getting much rest at night, and that has a significant effect on their bodies in the long run.

An oral appliance can prevent the need for a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which is one of the most effective ways to fix sleep apnea. These machines deliver pressurized air to the patient’s airway, keeping it open while they sleep. The machine requires wearing a mask to go to bed each night. Oral appliances are typically a more convenient option than CPAP machines and they can be used to address mild or moderate sleep apnea.

Treating OSA with an oral appliance

Getting a customized oral appliance for OSA starts with a consultation with a dentist. The dentist will likely recommend a sleep study, and the information derived from it can be used to diagnose OSA. Once the cause of the patient’s sleep disorder has been determined, the dentist can provide them with an oral appliance.

The dentist takes an impression of the patient’s mouth by having them bite down on a mold. That leaves behind an impression of the patient’s teeth which is sent to a lab where oral appliances are made. The process takes about two weeks for the finished product to get back to the dentist.

The two most popular types of oral appliances used to treat sleep apnea include:

  • Mandibular repositioning device: These are used to keep the patient’s jaw in the proper position while they sleep. It prevents the jaw from blocking the person’s airway, which is one of the most common causes of sleep apnea
  • Tongue retaining device: These are used to prevent the wearer’s tongue from falling back into the airway and blocking the flow of air during sleep

Get the sleep apnea treatment you need

Call or visit our Delray Beach clinic to learn more about sleep apnea. Our dentist can get you an oral appliance that helps with your breathing during sleep.

Request an appointment here: or call Palm Beach Dentistry at (561) 225-2057 for an appointment in our Delray Beach office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea in Delray Beach, FL.

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