Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when a person's breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, pauses in breathing, fatigue, and gasping sounds. There are many different oral devices on the market for the treatment of sleep apnea. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. Dr. Gavin Schill at Christiana Creek Dental Care in Elkhart, IN, offers oral appliances to treat sleep apnea.
What are sleep apnea appliances?
There are different types of sleep apnea appliances. Common ones include: Mandibular Repositioning Appliances (MRA), Tongue Retaining Devices (TRD), Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS), and Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD). Oral appliances work by pulling your lower jaw forward. The devices hold your tongue in place so that your airway stays open while you sleep. The appliance is placed in your mouth at night before you go to bed, worn while you sleep, and taken out when you're awake.
How effective are sleep apnea appliances?
For some patients, the snoring and sleep apnea go away completely, but for others, other forms of treatment are needed. Sleep apnea appliances are more likely to work if you have mild or moderate sleep apnea. Recent evidence also supports use for some patients with severe sleep apnea. When an appliance is working well, there should be no snoring. You may also see improved sleepiness, fatigue, and other symptoms of sleep apnea.
How do I get a sleep apnea appliance?
In the United States, oral appliances to treat sleep apnea cannot be sold over the counter. They must be prescribed by your Elkhart, IN, doctor and fitted by a medical professional who has sleep medicine experience. Your dental provider will take an impression of your teeth and send the impression to the laboratory for the appliance to be made. After a couple of weeks, you will go back to your dentist’s office, where the device is fitted into your mouth.
How should I care for my oral appliance?
You should floss and brush your teeth before you put your sleep apnea appliance in each night. Plaque can build up on an appliance. You must clean the appliance every day, and make sure you dry out your appliance each day before using it again. Also, keep your appliance safely away from kids and pets.
You can stop sleep apnea today! Call Christiana Creek Dental Care in Elkhart, IN at (574) 262-4378 to schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Schill.