Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Sleep apnea oral appliance therapy involves the use of a specially designed oral sleep appliance (looks like an athletic mouthguard) that maintains an open, unobstructed airway in the throat when worn during sleep. It is prescribed for people who report or show signs of snoring loudly, bouts of awakening gasping for air during the night, night-time teeth grinding, feeling tired after a full night's sleep, or excessive daytime sleepiness. A sleep study confirms the diagnosis of mild/moderate/severe obstructive sleep apnea and based on the degree of sleep apnea therapy is given. C-PAP machine is the first choice of treatment, but if not tolerated well then an oral appliance therapy may be prescribed for severe cases. The oral appliances are recommended for patients who have severe sleep apnea, who have tried but cannot tolerate C- PAP. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliance therapy for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. The dental appliances for sleep apnea is a small plastic device that fits in the mouth during sleep like a sport’s mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances help prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, keeping the airway open during sleep to promote adequate airflow. Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with other treatments for sleep-related breathing disorders. Using a sleep oral appliance is a safe, non-invasive, highly effective treatment for snoring for all severities of obstructive sleep apnea.
Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases (heart attack risk), memory problems, weight gain, impotence, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes.
“Since I started using the oral appliance my wife said my snoring has pretty much stopped…Not only she sleeps better but I feel more refreshed each morning”-AG