If you have been diagnosed with or think you may have sleep apnea, you may be among an estimated 22 million Americans who suffer from this sleep disorder. People with sleep apnea stop breathing during sleep. It can lead to severe health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure or even early death. That is why it is important to get treatment. But most of the time the recommended treatment is surgery or the use of a noisy and bulky CPAP machine. Now, research shows that a simple mouth guard worn at night can be a very effective treatment.
For More on Sleep Apnea – Read “Dental Treatment of Sleep Apnea”
The Easiest Sleep Apnea Treatment Option
Traditional treatment is the use of a CPAP machine. While these machines work well, many patients are unable or unwilling to continue using them due to noise and discomfort of being hooked up to an air mask while sleeping. The noise from the machine can make falling asleep more difficult. They also make traveling difficult. The other alternative is surgery, which most people would like to avoid.
The easiest and most convenient treatment option is now a special sleep apnea mouthguard. The tongue or other soft tissue in the mouth moves while you are sleeping and blocks your upper airway causing sleep apnea.
The special mouthguard, called a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) keeps your tongue and other soft tissue in place by keeping the lower jaw forward. Worn while you sleep, it fits over the upper and lower teeth so it stays in place during the night. This keeps the airway open and keeps oxygen flowing to your body and brain all night long, just like a CPAP machine is designed to do.
Sleep apnea experts are now recommending use of this type of mouthguard for mild cases or when using a CPAP machine has proven to be too much of a problem. That means it is a good option for all but higher risk patients.
Benefits of Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards
- Reduces or stops Snoring
- Prevents Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
- More Restful Sleep
Sleep apnea is linked to teeth grinding (bruxism), headaches and daytime sleepiness. Dental treatment with a sleep apnea mouth guard can be very effective in reducing or eliminating all these symptoms.
Why a Dental Practice for Sleep Apnea
Dentists are the medical professionals with the most knowledge of the structure of the mouth. We make molds of your teeth for many dental conditions. Sleep apnea mouth guards require an appointment to take a mold of your teeth. This ensures that the mouth guard will be custom made to fit properly in your mouth. A custom fit makes it more comfortable to wear and more effective. If you are in the Charlotte area, we can help with your sleep apnea mouth guard.