Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which a person pauses in their breathing while sleeping. It is often associated with heavy snoring and sounds of trying to catch their breath. This can occur multiple times during the night sometimes as often as 30 times an hour. In trying to catch their breath people with sleep apnea move from deep sleep into lighter sleep quite frequently. As a result, their quality of sleep is very poor and they often feel tired during the day.
The graphic to the right shows how obstructive sleep apnea blocks air from passing into the throat. This blockage causes the person to make the choking sound and wake up to get air into their lungs.
How To Treat Sleep Apnea?
One of the most common treatment methods for sleep apnea is the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. These are machines that sit next to the bed and include a mask that goes over the person’s nose and head. While the CPAP is very effective at reducing sleep apnea, many people find wearing the device to be uncomfortable. As a result over time they stop wearing it.
Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea
Here at Aesthetic Family Dentistry we help patients suffering from sleep apnea through use of a dental appliance or sleep apnea mouth guard called a mandibular advancement splint. This is a custom made mouth piece that we fit to your exact needs. The mouth guard treats snoring and sleep apnea by moving the lower jaw forward slightly which tightens the muscles of the upper airway to prevent obstruction while you are sleeping.
For many of our patients the sleep apnea mouth guard has been a great answer to help them sleep better and more comfortably. If you suffer from sleep apnea and have a CPAP that is just sitting on your dresser click here to make an appointment so that we can evaluate you for the sleep apnea mouth guard.