Oral Appliances in Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic, damaging sleep disorder that affects breathing during sleep. The breathing of those affected starts and stops throughout the night. There are several common symptoms, including snoring, feeling fatigued during the day, and waking up with shortness of breath during the night. The disorder keeps the body and brain from receiving the required amount of oxygen, leading to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, depression, and poor concentration.

However, the disorder can be controlled with effective treatment. Personalized oral appliances are a fantastic treatment option. They are worn in the mouth during sleep, and they work to keep the tongue from collapsing and blocking the airway. This allows the patient to have maximal oxygen intake. The oral appliances are custom-made to fit the patient’s mouth. The appliances work by repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate, and uvula, which helps stabilize the tongue and tone its muscles.

The appliances can be obtained in primarily two different forms: tongue retaining appliance and mandibular repositioning appliance. The tongue retaining appliance utilizes a suction bulb to keep the tongue forward, pulling it away from the airway during sleep. The mandibular repositioning appliance makes the lower jaw protrude during sleep, which functions to pull the tongue away from the airway.

Oral appliances are highly effective in treating sleep apnea. They are also extremely comfortable to wear and easy to store and transport because of their small size. They are highly preferred above the over-the-counter appliances because they are personalized to fit the mouth and needs of each patient.

These appliances are a great option for treating sleep apnea, and have proven to help half of all patients control their sleep apnea, including those with severe cases. While CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is another way to treat sleep apnea, it is much more invasive. CPAP creates a lot of noise and requires patients to wear a mask during sleep. Oral appliances are a comfortable and affordable option.

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