Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. The condition causes pauses in breathing during sleep, resulting in disrupted sleep patterns and daytime fatigue. While various treatment options are available, oral appliances have become increasingly popular for their convenience, effectiveness, and affordability.
Finding the right oral appliance for sleep apnea can feel confusing. With different options available, knowing which one will work best for you is essential.
We recommend scheduling time with your healthcare provider before deciding on an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea. They may conduct a sleep study to help diagnose your sleep apnea and develop your treatment plan.
The dental team at Atlanta Smiles can work with you to find the best oral appliance to address your sleep apnea symptoms.
How does an oral appliance stop sleep apnea?
An oral appliance for sleep apnea is a device that helps keep your airways open during sleep. It works by positioning your lower jaw in a forward position. Shifting the jaw prevents the obstruction of your airways, allowing for increased airflow and improved sleep quality. Oral appliances are non-invasive and easy to use, making them an appealing option for many people with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
What types of oral appliances are available to treat sleep apnea?
There are several types of oral appliances available to treat sleep apnea. Two of the popular options include mandibular repositioning devices (MRD) and tongue retaining devices (TRD). MRDs are the most common type of oral appliance. These devices reposition the jaw. TRDs work by suctioning your tongue and keeping it from blocking your airways, which doesn’t always manage symptoms as comfortably.
What is the best oral appliance for sleep apnea?
The mandibular repositioning device is the best oral appliance for sleep apnea. Invest in a custom device from your sleep apnea dentist in Atlanta. While there are over-the-counter options, they typically do not fit well. A bad fit can cause damage to your teeth and won’t provide effective treatment.
What should I consider when selecting an oral appliance for sleep apnea?
When selecting an oral appliance for sleep apnea, consider your needs, comfort level, and budget. It’s important to talk to a qualified dentist and determine the right oral device to fit your needs and relieve your symptoms. Ask about follow-up visits and maintenance requirements. An oral appliance can help reduce snoring and improve sleep quality with proper care and regular use.
Also, consider your level of sleep apnea. While oral appliances work well for mild and moderate sleep apnea, more severe cases may require other interventions, like surgery or a CPAP machine.
Can an oral appliance help with snoring?
Yes, an oral appliance can help with snoring. Oral appliances help by positioning the lower jaw into a forward position, preventing the obstruction of your airways and reducing the vibration in your throat that leads to snoring. For mild cases of snoring, an oral appliance can work to reduce or eliminate snoring effectively. However, for more severe cases of snoring, an oral appliance may not be enough to address the issue.
How do oral appliances compare to CPAP machines?
Oral appliances and CPAP machines are both effective treatments for sleep apnea. While both options can help improve sleep quality and reduce daytime fatigue, there are a few key differences between the two.
CPAP machines use a continuous stream of air to keep your airways open during sleep, while oral appliances position your lower jaw in a forward to prevent airway obstruction. Some people find CPAP machines uncomfortable or too loud, while oral devices are generally less intrusive.
Oral appliances are relatively easy to use and require little maintenance. And most oral appliances are designed for long-term usage. The devices offered by professional dentists typically have a higher quality than over-the-counter options. Oral devices also tend to be more affordable than CPAP machines, making them an attractive option for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea who want an effective treatment without the hassle of a bulky machine.
Consult your doctor or sleep apnea dentist to determine the best treatment option.
Can I use a sleep apnea oral device only when I travel?
Yes, you can use an oral appliance only when you travel. The device is lightweight and portable, making it perfect for travel. Even if you use a CPAP machine at home, you may prefer an easier option for travel.
Can I wear an oral appliance while I use a CPAP machine?
Yes, you can wear an oral appliance while using a CPAP machine. Combination therapy uses both an oral device and a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea. If your doctor determines that you need extra support for your sleep apnea, they may recommend combination therapy. Wearing an oral appliance in combination with a CPAP machine may offer more consistent relief of your symptoms.
What are the risks of untreated sleep apnea?
Untreated sleep apnea can have severe and potentially life-threatening consequences. Sleep apnea reduces the quality of your sleep, leading to excessive daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, poor performance at work or school, and an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. It can also increase your risk for other health problems, including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Additionally, untreated sleep apnea can interfere with your overall quality of life.
Talk to your doctor if you think you may have sleep apnea. Various treatments, including oral appliances and lifestyle changes, can help improve your sleep and reduce the risks associated with untreated sleep apnea.
Let us help you get a good night’s sleep
Atlanta Smiles offers custom-made oral appliances for sleep apnea that can help you get a good night’s rest and reduce snoring. Our expert team offers compassionate and patient-centered care to ensure you receive the best treatment options to improve your health and quality of life. If you have questions about oral appliances for sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with us today!