Sleep apnea is a condition where an individual suffers from their soft oral tissues collapsing during periods of sleep that block their airway … this results in the potential of oxygen deprivation to the brain and numerous interruptions every night that prevent the patient from getting a good night’s rest.
There are different sleep apnea treatments, but a visit to see your dentist for a solution may provide the most comfortable option that will be a wonderful alternative to the bulky, noisy, and uncomfortable CPAP you may be using.
Since sleep apnea occurs during periods of sleep, your dentist can fabricate a customized oral appliance that you can easily slip in for a quick nap or when you retire for the night. It resembles a clear mouth guard; and since your dentist will customize it to fit your specific needs, it will be comfortable and can be modified until it fits perfectly.
This oral appliance works by slightly repositioning the lower jaw forward preventing soft oral tissues from collapsing and obstructing airways so the patient can breathe properly during sleep. Without a sleep aid, the patient can experience sleep interruptions up to hundreds of times every night.
The dangers of sleepless nights are obvious … extreme daily fatigue can interfere with your job and things we take for granted like driving a car. Over time, overall health and oral health can be in serious jeopardy.
If you are already using CPAP, you have likely received a diagnosis of sleep apnea. But for those patients that suspect they may be suffering from sleep apnea, a confirmed diagnosis usually requires a formal sleep study be performed.
But if you believe sleep apnea is robbing you of a good night’s sleep, a visit with your dentist is a good place to start. A customized oral appliance will not do any harm, and may be just what is needed to restore your ability to get an uninterrupted night’s rest.
Other tips to help include sleeping on your side (difficult to do with CPAP); avoid caffeine; and do not drink alcohol or take sleep aids as they further relax those tissues that contribute to sleep apnea.
A good night’s sleep is something many take for granted … a custom made oral appliance may be all you need to enjoy sleeping well again.
For more information, contact the office of Dr. John Morris at 269-979-1500 today.