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Do Dental Devices for Sleep Apnea Work?

If you are asking about dental devices for sleep apnea, there is a good chance you or someone you care about has the condition. Maybe the CPAP (constant positive air pressure) machine was just too uncomfortable and interfered with sleep.  To understand if dental apparatus will help with sleep apnea, let’s take a closer look at what sleep apnea is and how it can be a very dangerous condition.

Sleep apnea is a serious and often deadly condition. Many people, even those who suffered from sleep apnea, were not aware of just how serious until December of 2016. “Why then” you may ask? In that month, actress Carrie Fisher, famous for playing Princess Leia in Star Wars, died of Sleep Apnea four days after she suffered a heart attack. It was at that moment that much of the public sat up and took notice of how serious sleep apnea actually is.

Maybe you are one of those people, and you too suffer from sleep apnea and wonder if it could kill you. While sleep apnea alone can’t kill you, in combinations with other conditions such as congestive heart failure and asthma, it can be deadly. The fact is if you have a serious health issue, sleep apnea increases your chances of dying from it.

What are Some of the Issues Sleep Apnea causes?

While not all sleep apnea sufferers have life-threatening conditions, the condition can cause a number of issues, some ranging from annoyances to downright quality of life disruptors.  Many people equate some of these symptoms with getting older and do not realize they have sleep apnea. Here are some of the definitive signs you have may have sleep apnea.

  • Broken Sleep.
  • Sore Throat.
  • Waking Up Gasping for Air.

Sleep Apnea also puts you at a higher risk for stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health issues. If you think you have sleep apnea and are not sure, consult a physician to confirm your suspicions.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes interruptions in breathing during sleep and deprives the body of oxygen. Sleep apnea is mainly caused by two things, an obstructed airway(most common), or a neurochemical issue between the brain and muscles that are used in breathing.  Let’s try and make the previous statement more understandable.

Sleep apnea happens when both tongue and jaw completely relax with the rest of the body’s muscles when you fall into a state of deep sleep. During this phase of sleep, most people’s airways stay unobstructed even with all the muscles in the airway fully relaxed. But for some people, when the airway muscles relax, the back of the throat becomes blocked and causes them to stop breathing. When you stop breathing, your brain forces you awake, sometimes, you will be unpleasantly jolted into consciousness, and other times, you will not fully awaken. In either case, sleep apnea interrupts your normal sleep patterns and makes you susceptible to other health issues related to a lack of sleep.

Is There a Safe and Effective Alternative to CPAP Machines?

Yes, many oral devices are safe and work nearly as well as CPAP. They also lack the discomfort issues that CPAP machines are notorious for having. The most common oral appliance is the mouthpiece. The purpose of the dental device is to keep the airway clear by opening up the mouth and restricting the tongue from sliding back into the throat. This device resembles a mouth guard worn by athletes but is fitted with custom springs and modifications which force the lower jaw and tongue forward. This design causes mouth and airway to open up, which will keep your breathing unobstructed throughout the night.

How Effective are Dental Devices for Sleep Apnea?

As previously stated dental devices are useful in treating sleep apnea. These FDA approved oral appliances allow patients to use a device that is often more comfortable and less noisy than CPAP. They work by keeping your airway open; this prevents the airway from being shut off and obstructing the natural flow of air that takes place when you breathe.

Numerous studies show that oral appliances are effective in keeping your airway open. While CPAP is only slightly more effective than dental devices for sleep apnea, CPAP is only effective if it is used every night. Some patients who find CPAP interferes with their sleep are not getting the full benefits of the device. Patients who can’t consistently use CPAP would benefit more from a dental appliance to control their sleep apnea. If you find you can tolerate the noise from a CPAP and a hose affixed to your nostrils, then using an oral appliance can make your PAP treatments even more beneficial.

What are Some of the Benefits of Using a Dental Device for Sleep Apnea?

  • Dental devices cost significantly less than CPAP machines.
  • You don’t have to deal with unwieldy equipment as you try and sleep.
  • Cleaning a dental device is much easier than cleaning a CPAP machine.
  • It is easier to take a dental device for sleep apnea with you while traveling than a CPAP Machine.
  • Unlike CPAP, dental devices can be used on camping trips or other situations where plugging in a CPAP machine is impossible.
  • Dental Devices for Sleep Apnea are excellent supplemental aids to CPAP machines.

So if you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea, and can’t tolerate CPAP, or who wants to augment their CPAP treatment, let Mark Levy DDS help you. Call today and a staff member from Doctor Levy’s office will contact you and set up a time to discuss a dental device for sleep apnea. A dental device for sleep apnea could be the thing to make you feel better rested and refreshed when you wake up.  Don’t suffer through another night of waking up choking; Doctor Levy can help.

Call Mark Levy DDS at 614-777-7350 or fill out our free online contact form today to learn more about sleep apnea oral appliances.