Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious condition that can lead to various health problems. For many people, the go-to treatment for sleep apnea are oral appliances like the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The CPAP machine doesn’t work for all patients or in all circumstances.
Oral appliances offer an effective alternative to CPAP machines for treating sleep apnea. These devices keep the airway open during sleep, reducing the frequency and severity of apnea episodes.
If you or a loved one has sleep apnea, you may wonder if an oral appliance could be a good treatment option. The answer is yes. Oral appliances treat mild and moderate cases of sleep apnea in most patients. Talk with your doctor about incorporating an oral device into your sleep apnea treatment plan.
How do oral appliances for sleep apnea work?
Custom-made oral appliances for sleep apnea work by gently repositioning the jaw and tongue to hold open the airway. A dentist tailors each oral appliance to the patient. The device fits snugly over the teeth, allowing the lower jaw to move forward slightly. By changing the jaw’s position, the airway can stay open as you sleep, reducing or eliminating episodes of snoring, breaks in breathing and other sleep apnea symptoms.
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Compare to Other Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea?
Oral appliance therapy is an excellent alternative to other treatments for sleep apnea. It is much less invasive than other treatments and does not require surgery or medications. Oral appliance therapy is also portable and easy to use, making it convenient for those who travel often or are away from home for long periods of time. It also works well for daily treatment at home.
Many patients who do not adjust well to the CPAP machine opt to use an oral device. The device is less intrusive because it doesn’t require hoses or make noise. It offers a convenient option for patients who do not want the disruption of the CPAP.
Overall, oral appliance therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for many people with sleep apnea. Talk with your doctor to determine if this treatment is the best option for you.
Which oral appliance should adults use to treat sleep apnea?
Oral appliances for sleep apnea come in a variety of options. It is crucial to select the right appliance for your individual needs. Generally, adults should use a mandibular advancement device. These devices fit over the teeth, holding the lower jaw in an advanced position while you sleep. This helps keep the airway open, reducing or eliminating sleep apnea episodes.
We do not recommend purchasing over-the-counter oral devices. Also, a different type of device, like a nightguard or sports guard, does not work to treat sleep apnea. Patients need an oral device designed specifically to treat OSA. Work with your dentist for a custom mandibular device that fits your mouth accurately.
Can I use oral appliances for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea?
Yes. When you use an oral appliance to treat obstructive sleep apnea, reduced snoring is an added benefit for most patients. The oral appliance helps open the airway, reducing the volume and frequency of snoring in patients with OSA. If you experience snoring, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your healthcare provider to check for sleep apnea.
What are the benefits of an oral appliance?
Oral appliances are a comfortable and convenient treatment option for sleep apnea. Most people find that they adjust easily to wearing the device at night. Plus, the appliance is easy to clean and maintain. Some insurance plans may cover oral appliances. Also, oral appliances typically cost less than a CPAP machine. Oral appliances work well for travel or daily use.
Are there any drawbacks to using an oral appliance for sleep apnea?
Oral appliances effectively treat mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea in most patients. However, it is important to note that these devices do not work for everyone. Patients with severe OSA may require additional treatment options. Doctors may also recommend the oral appliance in combination with other treatment options.
What is the newest treatment for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea treatment has advanced in recent years. One of the newest treatments for sleep apnea is hypoglossal nerve stimulation. This treatment involves implanting a small device above your chest, which connects to the hypoglossal nerve and sends electrical stimulation to help keep the airway open throughout the night. The device works by sending electrical signals to reduce muscle activity in the tongue and throat, which helps prevent airway collapse.
Oral appliances work to complement hypoglossal nerve stimulation treatment. The combination of the two treatment protocols demonstrates promising results for patients with OSA.
How can I get an oral appliance to treat OSA?
If you are considering an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis. Your provider can diagnose the severity of the condition and offer advice on the best treatment protocols to address your symptoms and condition.
A dentist specializing in sleep apnea can provide an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea. The dentist will manufacture the device based on your mouth. This custom device will provide an accurate fit to best address your sleep apnea.
Your dentist may schedule follow-up visits to monitor the fit and progress.
Atlanta Smiles offers oral devices to treat sleep apnea
The expert dental team at Atlanta Smiles treats sleep apnea using oral devices. We are happy to work with your healthcare provider to create a custom oral appliance. We understand OSA symptoms and effective treatment options.
When you work with Atlanta Smiles, you receive compassionate care. We know sleep apnea is a serious condition that impacts many areas of your life. We want to help you improve your health, quality of sleep and overall well-being.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a sleep apnea consultation.