Treating sleep apnea and the snoring that goes along with it has been shown to improve cognitive functions.
A study conducted in Sweden and published in the journal Nature and the Science of Sleep studied patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea who used an oral appliance to keep their airway open during sleep. The study found that wearing an oral appliance improved memory, executive functions, vigilance and mental speed after only six months.
“Depending on the patient’s needs, the custom-fitted oral appliance will either hold the tongue in place or support the jaw in a forward position to keep the patient’s airway open and provide a more refreshing sleep,” said Dr. Gail Demko of the American Academy of Dental Sleep medicine. “Research suggests that oral appliance therapy often can equal CPAP in effectiveness and offers a higher compliance rate than CPAP, and the Swedish study indicates there may be another significant benefit to oral appliance therapy.”
Obstructive sleep apnea affects 12-18 million adults in the United States. People who have obstructive sleep apnea stop breathing during sleep – these pauses can last a few moments to more than a miute at a time. This repeats throughout the night, in the most severe cases there may be hundreds of stoppages.
Oral appliance therapy is an effective alternative to CPAP. CPAP is a wonderful treatment for sleep apnea but a large number of patients cannot tolerate using these machines. For these patients an oral appliance can be a lifesaving alternative. Not only will the snoring stop but patients report feeling more alert and energetic than they have in years.
Find out more about oral appliance therapy by contacting Columbus sleep apnea dentist Dr. Mark Levy at 614-476-6696 today to schedule your consultation.