Who Can Benefit From a Custom-Made Sleep Apnea Appliance?
Are you or your loved one having trouble sleeping at night? Does your partner snore loudly or gasp for air during their sleep? If so, they may suffer from sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder affecting millions worldwide. Around 18% of the adult population in the U.S. suffers from sleep apnea, with an estimated 22 million Americans living with moderate to severe sleep apnea. Globally, over 100 million people suffer from this condition.
Sleep apnea can be a serious condition if left untreated, leading to various health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Fortunately, treatment options, including custom-made sleep apnea appliances, are available to help manage sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Before we get into the specifics of sleep apnea appliances, let’s discuss what sleep apnea is in the first place. This disorder is characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. This can occur when the muscles at the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, leading to brief pauses in breathing. These pauses, known as apneas, can occur multiple times throughout the night, resulting in poor sleep quality and increased daytime fatigue.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can have severe consequences for your health. It has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, sleep apnea can worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety and lead to decreased libido and poor work performance.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea can help you get an accurate diagnosis and start treatment. Some of the common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Sleepiness during the day that isn’t otherwise explained
- Loud snoring
- Your sleep partner observes stopped breathing during sleep
- Sudden awakenings with gasping or choking
- Waking up in the morning with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Headache upon waking in the morning
- Hard to concentrate during the day
- High blood pressure
- Depression, irritability, or other mood changes
- Decreased libido
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, speaking with a healthcare professional or dentist specializing in sleep disorders is essential. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can manage your sleep apnea and improve your overall health and quality of life. And one of the ways that sleep apnea can be treated is with a sleep apnea appliance. So, herein lies the question, do sleep apnea appliances work?
What is a sleep apnea appliance?
A custom-made sleep apnea appliance is a dental device designed to help treat sleep apnea by holding the jaw forward to keep the airway open during sleep. This appliance is made specifically for each individual and is custom-fitted to their mouth to ensure maximum effectiveness and comfort.
Oral appliance therapy can help in the following ways:
- Oral appliances improve the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), including reducing daytime sleepiness, improved mood, better concentration, and reduced or eliminated snoring.
- They are viable alternative for those who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy.
- Portable appliances make traveling easier and treatment more convenient.
- Unlike CPAP, oral appliance therapy does not require a power source, which makes it easy to use in various settings.
- Quiet and unobtrusive, the appliance can help prevent sleep disruptions and improve overall sleep quality.
Are sleep apnea appliances as effective as positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy?
Custom-made sleep apnea appliances can be an effective alternative to PAP therapy for mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. For severe cases of OSA, a combination of PAP therapy and an oral appliance may be necessary for optimal results.
Is a sleep apnea appliance comfortable?
Yes, these appliances are custom-made to fit your mouth and are designed for maximum comfort. They are made of soft and flexible materials and are engineered to fit your unique dental anatomy, providing a comfortable and secure fit. And, if you are trying to decide between a CPAP vs. a mouth guard, many patients opt to try a mouth guard because they are quiet and less disruptive.
How do sleep apnea appliances work?
Sleep apnea appliances work by holding the jaw forward during sleep, which helps keep the airway open and prevents pauses in breathing. This allows for improved airflow and better oxygenation during sleep, reducing sleep apnea symptoms.
Be sure to get your doctor’s official diagnosis of sleep apnea before determining which treatment route to take. However, a dentist who specializes in sleep disorders can identify signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and may be able to refer you to a sleep doctor for further evaluation. With a proper diagnosis, a customized treatment plan can be developed to help you manage your sleep apnea and improve your overall health and well-being.
Yes, sleep apnea appliances really work, and Staley Dental can help.
If you are wondering how to fix sleep apnea, your team at Staley Dental can help. We can help you identify the signs of sleep apnea, and once you have been diagnosed, we can offer recommendations to help you get a better night’s sleep. So if you are contemplating between a CPAP vs. a mouth guard, now is the time to request an appointment. Your dentist near Boise, ID, is ready to help you and your family sleep better.