If you suffer from snoring or sleepless nights, you might want to take an At-Home Sleep Screening. You could be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Perhaps you have already been diagnosed with OSA and you are sleeping with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask every night. Either way, there may be a better solution for you to get good rest.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
But first, what is OSA? It’s when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. For some people it happens hundreds of times a night., and they don’t even know it. It’s estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, with 80% of those cases undiagnosed. This is a serious disease that can shave 7-10 years off a person’s life if not treated. It’s also related to other diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, just to name a few.
There are several factors that increase the risk of OSA like having a:
- Small upper airway (or large tongue, tonsils or uvula)
- Recessed chin
- Small jaw
- Large overbite.
This is where a dentist, like Dr. Todd Blevins, can help.
The most recommended treatment for OSA is a CPAP machine. It blows a steady form of pressurized air through a mask into the respiratory system.
A dental sleep appliance can also be recommended if the patient has mild to moderate OSA. At Blevins Dentistry, Dr. Blevins offers a consultation and an At-Home Sleep Screening test. Then a medical professional diagnoses the results. Depending on the diagnosis, Dr. Blevins may suggest a mandibular advancement device that is similar to a mouth guard. The device is customized to fit the patient’s mouth. It positions the lower jaw and then tongue forward, which helps to open up the airway, allowing for normal breathing during sleep.
Pros of Dental devices
- More comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask
- The air pressure from a CPAP machine can dry out nasal passages where patients complain of itchy noses. Oral devices do not have this side effect.
- Less equipment involved for sleepers who move a lot
- Easy to travel with (perfect for camping)
- Usually more cost effective than a CPAP machine.
On the flip side, some patients have complained of jaw soreness or excessive salivation with dental devices.
Could A Dental Sleep Appliance Help?
You should consider an oral compliance if you have been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea, have snoring problems (with out sleep apnea), or if you want to combine it’s use with the CPAP to lower a your apnea/hypopnea index.
Tired of feeling tired? Request a free Dental Sleep Therapy Consultation with Dr. Blevins today.