Stopping sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is possible with proper diagnosis and treatment. One of the most important factors of stopping sleep disorders is understanding what causes them. When you understand your disorder completely then you are able to find and implement the most effective course of treatment.
Mark Levy DDS is one of the foremost experts when it comes to stopping sleep disorders with the use of dental appliances. He and his expert staff know the ins and outs of OSA and have effectively treated many patients.
This is one of the most common questions we receive. The first thing people want to know when they’re diagnosed with OSA is if it can be treated effectively. The answer is, yes. In fact, OSA is treated with relative ease once diagnosed. This is great news for people who suffer from the sleeping disorder due to the complications that eventually arise without treatment.
Stopping sleep disorders is very effective and often has quick results. People often notice a reduction in the day to day tiredness that they felt before treatment begins. Not only can this improve concentration and memory, but it also reduces the likelihood that they’ll cause an automobile or work related accident.
Undergoing a sleep study is a great first step to treating your condition. During a sleep study you’ll be monitored to allow the sleep specialist to see the severity of your sleeping disorder. Then they will make treatment suggestions based on the severity of your condition along with your medical history. For some, the removal of tonsils or adenoids is a quick and effective treatment. For others, lifestyle changes can make a major impact on reducing symptoms. Losing weight, avoiding alcohol and other depressants before bed, and not sleeping on your back can make a big difference.
Immediate treatment options include medical devices. The most common device is the continuous positive airway pressure machine, also known as a CPAP. This device consists of a machine, a mask, and a hose that links the two. The mask is placed over the nose and/or mouth during periods of sleep. The machine gently forces air through the hose and into your airway. This keeps your airway open and prevents it from being obstructed. Unfortunately, for many people, these masks can be uncomfortable and actually make sleep more difficult.
More and more people have been turning to their dentists to treat their sleeping disorders. These devices can be used by patients who suffer from mild to moderate OSA. There are a variety of dental appliances available depending on what’s causing the breathing obstruction.
The most widely used dental appliance is the mandibular advancement device. This looks like a mouth guard that you commonly see athletes wear. It positions your lower jaw forward and slightly down in order to maintain an open airway.
If your tongue is the cause of your OSA then you may benefit from a tongue retraining device. This dental appliance is a splint that helps hold your tongue in place to keep your airway open. This particular device may need to be readjusted or even replaced occasionally.
These devices work the best for people who sleep on their backs or stomachs. Dental appliances also work very well when used in addition to CPAP machines for patients who suffer from severe OSA. Dental appliances can also reduce snoring frequency as well as loudness. Many patients report improvements in sleep.
Statistically, dental appliances have a higher compliance rate than CPAP machines do. While a CPAP can be great, it’s only effective as long as the patient uses it. If they don’t use is due to comfort issues or difficulties sleeping then it doesn’t help them at all. Dental appliances actually have shown better control of OSA with fewer complications.
Sleep disorders such as OSA have a lasting, long term effect on your health. It’s important that you treat them to lower your risk of developing additional health issues later on. It’s also vitally important for your immediate health and the health of those around you that your sleeping disorder does not go untreated. Disorders that impact both your quality of sleep and your oxygen levels can have a negative impact on your brain. This greatly affects your ability to focus throughout the day while at work and while driving. People who suffer from untreated OSA are likely to experience either an automobile accident or a work accident.
Treatment for OSA using dental appliances is easy and affordable. It’s also a great alternative if you’ve had difficulties with CPAP treatment in the past. Speak with a qualified dentist today to see if you’re a candidate.