Oral Appliance Therapy
If you suffer from sleep apnea, an oral appliance therapy treatment can help you overcome it. The device treats both the airway obstruction from your throat closing and snoring. An oral appliance therapy device fits into your mouth, similar to that of a sportsguard or a mouthguard. It prevents your airways from being obstructed by supporting the jaw, pulling it forward, and holding the tongue down while you sleep. While it is not considered the most effective treatment for sleep apnea, it is usually the most comfortable to wear and easier to manage at night. If you are looking for an oral appliance therapy device, Stansell Dentistry Associates may be able to help you.
Types of Oral Appliances
There are currently two types of oral appliance therapy devices on the market. The most popular is the mandibular repositioning device, which repositions your lower jaw by pulling it down slightly. This method helps to keep your airway open while you are asleep. It is the most comfortable device of the two. The other is a tongue retaining device, which holds your tongue in place while you are asleep. Keeping your tongue down is important to ensure it doesn’t obstruct your breathing while you sleep.
Benefits of Using Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy offers those with mild to moderate sleep apnea a wide range of health benefits. If used properly, it can improve your concentration, emotional stability, and increase your daytime alertness. It is also beneficial to your physical health, reducing your risk for diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. These are most common amongst sleep apnea sufferers. Oral appliance devices for sleep apnea are relatively easy to use, unlike other therapy methods. They slip easily into your mouth and only take a few days to weeks to adjust to, whereas other machines can take months. The other added benefit of an oral appliance device is that it is small and compact. CPAP machines, the most used device for sleep apnea, are rather large and difficult to take with you. Oral appliance devices are small enough to fit on carry-on bags or even in your purse. This can be a major benefit for those who are constantly traveling outside of their home on a nightly-basis for work or leisure.
Side Effects of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy causes very minor side effects to those who use it. You may suffer from temporary bite changes in the morning, dry mouth when you wake up, excessive salivation at night, and tooth and jaw discomfort. The discomfort and temporary bite changes will likely ease as you get more adjusted to it. These are the most seen effects for those who get an oral appliance therapy device. However, some users have also faced slightly more serious complications such as excessive jaw pain, TMD symptoms that can cause popping of the jaw joint, and permanent changes to your bite, such as an overbite or an underbite.
If you have a severe case of sleep apnea, you might find oral appliance therapy devices to be ineffective. These devices were created for mild to moderate cases. If you feel oral appliance therapy is a good option for you, Stansell Dentistry Associates wants to help you. Contact us at 984-477-0177 to schedule an appointment.