ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY
You hear it all the time – getting a good night’s sleep is important. However, it can be frustrating when you wake up the morning after morning, feeling exhausted. Quality sleep is critical for your mental, emotional and physical well beings. It ensures that you can function throughout the day, think, keep your emotions under control, and helps you to stay healthy. If you are constantly exhausted every morning, even after going to bed at a decent time, you may be living with a condition known as sleep apnea. National Dental Sunnyside can help with oral appliance therapy.
WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
When you sleep normally, your body goes through sleep cycles. These cycles are crucial for ensuring that you get proper rest. Sleep apnea is a condition that interferes with your sleep cycles and ultimately, the quality of your sleep. It causes you to stop breathing for several seconds (sometimes up to a minute and a half). This is known as an apneic event. When you stop breathing, you wake up, even if you don’t know it.
Sleep apnea ranges from mild (experiencing 5 to 14 apneic events per sleeping hour) to severe (experiencing 30 or more apneic events per sleeping hour). There are three different types:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when your airway becomes blocked by oral tissues (such as your tongue).
- Central sleep apnea.This type of sleep apnea occurs when your brain fails to communicate with the muscles in your body that are responsible for controlling breathing.
- Complex (mixed) sleep apnea.This sleep apnea is a combination of both OSA and central sleep apnea.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNEA?
There are a few different symptoms that can point to sleep apnea:
- You snore.
- You experience excessive daytime sleepiness.
- You might find yourself dozing during the day while performing daily tasks. You may even find yourself falling asleep at the wheel of your car.
- You might find it difficult to concentrate.
- You may be irritable or have trouble controlling your emotions.
- You may notice physical effects, such as hypertension.
DIAGNOSING SLEEP APNEA
If you find yourself experiencing any symptoms associated with sleep apnea, it is important that you be seen for diagnosis. A trained sleep professional can help. Diagnosing (or ruling out) sleep apnea is often done through a sleep study. At National Dental, we work with a vast network of sleep experts who can diagnose your sleep apnea (or other sleep-related issues) and help you manage your treatment.
TREATMENT WITH ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY
A C-PAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine is one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea. This machine consists of a small mask, which is attached to a hose, that covers your nose, and delivers air while you sleep. While this machine can be effective for some, it is not for everyone. Some patients find the machine difficult, and others simply do not want to use it. National Dental offers an alternative – oral appliance therapy.
Oral appliance therapy involves the use of an oral device similar to a sports mouthguard. It is created from a 3-dimensional mold of your mouth and fits over your top teeth. You wear it while you sleep. The device holds your jaw in proper alignment, preventing your lower jaw from sliding backward. In turn, this keeps your oral tissues from sliding back, keeping your airway clear. With a clear airway, you can finally get the sleep you need to rest and repair properly.
With oral appliance therapy, you can finally get the sleep you need, allowing you to get the rest you need to function properly and stay mentally, and physically, healthy. For more information about oral appliance therapy, and to find out if it’s right for you, call National Dental’s Sleep Department today at (516) 208-4276 to learn more.