ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY
Getting a good night’s sleep is important. Sleep provides your body with the time it needs to rest and repair. Poor sleep has a significant impact on your mental, emotional and physical health. If you continually wake up every morning feeling exhausted, even though you went to bed at a reasonable hour, you may be living with a condition known as sleep apnea. National Dental East Meadow can help with oral appliance therapy.
INTERRUPTIONS IN YOUR SLEEP CYCLE
Sleep apnea is a rather common disorder that affects the quality of your sleep. Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing for several seconds (known as an apneic event), causing you to wake up. Some apneic events can last as long as 90 seconds, and most of the time, you are completely unaware of these awakenings. Sleep apnea ranges in severity. For those with severe sleep apnea, you may experience 30 or more apneic events per sleeping hour. That equates to much-disrupted sleep. There are a few different types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea. Blockages in your airway (your tongue or other soft tissues) hinder your breathing. This is the most common type of sleep apnea.
- Central sleep apnea. Your brain does not communicate with the muscles that control breathing.
- Complex, or mixed, sleep apnea. A combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNEA
Sleep apnea can cause you to wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed the night before, even if you thought you got a full night’s sleep. However, this is only one of many symptoms:
- Daytime sleepiness, to the point where you find yourself falling asleep doing basic tasks. You may even become drowsy behind the wheel of your car.
- Trouble focusing.
- Inability to control emotions.
- Health issues such as high blood pressure and problems with your heart (which often occur as a result of chronic poor sleep).
HOW IS SLEEP APNEA DIAGNOSED?
Sleep apnea needs to be diagnosed by a trained sleep expert, and a sleep study is usually performed. At National Dental, we work with a large network of sleep professionals. These professionals not only diagnose your sleep apnea, but they can also help you to manage it.
TREATING SLEEP APNEA WITH ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY
Typically, sleep apnea is treated with a C-PAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine. However, not all patients respond well to a C-PAP, or they just don’t want to use it. If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be for you.
An oral appliance resembles a mouth guard. It covers the top portion of your teeth and is designed to hold your jaw in proper alignment while you sleep. This prevents your lower jaw from sliding back, which also prevents your tongue (or other soft tissues) from sliding back as well, keeping your airway clear.
You could pick up a mouthpiece from a pharmacy. However, these devices often cause more issues than they solve. Some require you to bite down on them to hold them in place, while others may make it even harder to breathe. We provide you with a custom made, FDA approved oral appliance for the best results. Your oral appliance is made using a 3-dimensional image of your mouth. The image allows us to design, and then fabricate it, giving you a comfortable fit that will allow you to get the sleep you need.
You don’t have to live with chronic sleep issues. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, contact National Dental East Meadow at (516) 962-2292 to find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you.