Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing the soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night, for a few seconds to more than a minute.
Snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, memory problems, irritability, fatigue and insomnia are all signs that you could be losing shut-eye to sleep apnea.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can be a potentially life threatening condition. It can increase the risk for other serious health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and impotence.
The traditionally prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. It involves sleeping with a face mask connected by tubing to a constantly running machine. Although CPAP is effective, up to half of patients don’t adhere to the treatment. Orthodontists can provide an alternate sleep solution with oral appliance therapy.
ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY
MANDIBULAR ADVANCEMENT DEVICES (MADs)
Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea that fits easily into your lifestyle. A dental oral appliance looks like a sports mouth guard and is worn only during sleep. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway, preventing sleep apnea and snoring.
Once you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, an orthodontist experienced in dental sleep medicine can make a custom-fitted oral appliance using models of your teeth. Patients like it because it’s comfortable, easy to wear, quiet, portable, convenient for travel and easy to clean.
TREATING SNORING & SLEEP APNEA
Treating snoring or sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy can help you feel like a new person. You will find that your symptoms, and your quality of life, can improve when you remain committed to your treatment and use it nightly. Custom-fit oral appliances from Dr. Sawhney can help with sleep apnea, especially if you are not using a CPAP, or need an appliance to travel with.
If you have concerns about snoring and sleep apnea, it may be time to make an appointment. Our team at Smiles by Design is ready to answer your questions about obstructive sleep apnea, dental sleep medicine and oral appliance therapy.
MATRx IS AN OVERNIGHT SLEEP STUDY PERFORMED AT YOUR HOME.
During the study, the technology will monitor your progress while adjusting the position of your lower jaw to treat your sleep apnea and keep your airway open.
Dr. Sawhney reviews your MATRx test results with a sleep medicine MD, and will be able to tell you If oral appliance therapy is right for you, including the jaw position for your custom-fit appliance.