Did you know that obstructive sleep apnea affects up to nine percent of the American adult population? Without sleep apnea treatment in Omaha, this condition can potentially lead to serious medical issues that include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression. Thankfully, your dentist can provide you with a type of oral appliance that can be used to manage the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a serious sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop and start repeatedly while you sleep. Also known as the most common type of sleep apnea, OSA occurs when the throat muscles relax and block the airway during sleep. You may suffer from OSA if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Daytime sleepiness
- Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
- Difficulty concentrating
- Morning headache
- Decreased libido
- High blood pressure
What Are the Benefits of Using an Oral Appliance to Manage Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Although several types of dental devices are used to prevent nighttime grinding, a lesser-known type is an oral appliance that can be used to address symptoms of OSA.
In most cases, airway obstruction that leads to snoring and sleep apnea is caused by the tongue and soft tissues in the back of your throat. To make sure that these won’t block your airway, the oral appliance repositions your tongue and jaw. As the tissues are being stabilized and the tongue is being repositioned to move forward in your mouth, more space is created in the back of your throat for air to freely enter and exit.
Imagine a soft, flexible mouthguard that’s similar to the ones that athletes wear to protect their teeth and gums while playing contact sports. The custom-made oral appliance for sleep apnea may look like the average mouthguard, but it has more technical features built-in. Best of all, it’s also fabricated based on your bite impressions that were taken by the dentist.
One of the best things about using oral appliances for sleep apnea is the fact that they don’t involve an intensive treatment plan or a surgical procedure. Additionally, the entire experience is extremely simple, from your initial consultation down to your last follow-up appointment.
The Adjustment Period is Quick!
Contrary to what you may have initially expected, it only takes a couple of days for you to get used to wearing an oral appliance for sleep apnea.
They’re Easy To Use!
Since an oral appliance for sleep apnea is worn just like a regular mouth guard, the device is extremely simple to use.
It’s Not a Bulky CPAP Machine!
A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine prevents the airway from collapsing during sleep. It requires the use of a nasal pillow or a full mask to be fitted over the patient’s face. This allows the constant stream of pressurized air through the airway to keep the throat’s soft tissues from blocking it.
Although CPAP machines work, they’re extremely bulky. Alternatively, oral appliances for sleep apnea offer convenience because of their small size. They’re also very easy to clean and travel with.
Do You Need Sleep Apnea Treatment in Omaha?
The team of dental professionals at Dentistry for Health strives to protect your heart health with sleep apnea treatments and consult on cases with two local pulmonologists. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.