Sleep Apnea Therapy
Although most people assume that they are free of sleep disorders, the numbers say otherwise. Obstructive sleep apnea, which is a breathing disorder that can cut off your air as you sleep, is a common ailment in the United States, affecting as many as 24% of men and 9% of women nationwide. Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the neck relax too much, putting pressure on the airway. This pressure can eventually cut off the airway, causing the person to wake up hundreds of times each night unable to breathe, severely disrupting sleep. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they have the disorder, which causes health problems such as:
- Fatigue during the day
- Dry mouth that can promote oral decay
- Nighttime sweating
- Sexual dysfunction
- Trouble concentrating
- Depression and irritability
- Loud snoring
- Difficulty staying asleep
Unfortunately, if left undiagnosed, sleep apnea can contribute to other serious health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Some types of cancer
Treatments for Sleep Apnea
CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is a nighttime sleep apnea treatment that involves placing a mask over your mouth and nose as you sleep. The machine provides a steady stream of air into your mouth and lungs, propping your airway open from the inside. Although CPAP is highly effective, these facial masks can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, or intrusive for some people, which is why a staggering 50% of sleep apnea patients choose not to comply with treatment.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Fortunately, there is a simpler alternative: oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances for sleep apnea work by moving the lower jaw forward slightly. Since your tongue is attached to your lower jaw, the collapsible portion of your upper airway is then propped open, preventing apnea.
There is a reason our clinicians are known as some of the best dentists in Madison. At Oak Park Dental, our clinicians understand how serious sleep apnea is, and will do everything they can to make an oral appliance that addresses your condition. By working closely with referring doctors, Dr. Gyurina and Dr. Mehtani can make sure that your oral appliance fits well, moves the mandible into the proper position, and allows you to breathe comfortably.
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy has many powerful benefits, including the fact that oral appliances are:
Unlike sleep apnea machines, which can be difficult to haul from place to place, oral sleep apnea appliances are portable. This aspect makes them perfect for people who travel frequently.
Some people are embarrassed by the bulky nature of traditional sleep apnea masks, especially if they are nervous about how they might look to a partner or roommate. However, oral appliances are small, easy to pop in whenever you need to, and can even be kept in a nightstand drawer.
There are a wide variety of sleep apnea appliances available. Because of their incredible versatility, Dr. Gyurina and Dr. Mehtani can order an appliance that addresses multiple dental and medical needs.
Most importantly, oral appliances for sleep apnea have been shown to be incredibly effective. One study, published in October of 2016, showed that oral appliance therapy improved patient’s cardiovascular output and significantly reduced blood pressure in sleep apnea patients. In fact, oral appliance therapy is so effective that it can completely eliminate sleep apnea symptoms for patients who have mild to moderate apnea.
For more information about oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea, make an appointment with Oak Park Dental today.
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