Obstructive sleep apnea is not an uncommon medical condition. People with this medical condition have their airflow blocked or obstructed while sleeping. Usually, this happens more than a hundred times in one night. When this obstruction happens, it causes a temporary shortage of oxygen in the body.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is characterized by symptoms like:
- Constant fatigue
- Loud snoring
This condition increases the risk of other health problems like heart attack, stroke as well as high blood pressure.
Mouth guard-style devices are among the first treatments that people use for moderate or mild obstructive sleep apnea. These devices are commonly known as “oral appliances.” The devices are professionally and specially fitted by an experienced dentist like Dr. Gabe Doria at his dental practice in Bayonne, New Jersey in Hudson County. They alleviate airflow obstruction in the wearer by positioning their lower jaw at a slightly forward position from the normal resting position. This restrains the movement or falling off of the tongue to the back part of the wearer’s throat thereby preventing soft tissues from collapsing during sleep.
Mouth guards for sleep apnea are designed for use alone or with other treatment techniques like surgery, CPAP machines and weight loss.
Is a Mouth Guard for Sleep Apnea Comfortable?
This device is easy to wear and gentle. It enables you to avoid an unwanted surgery since it can treat sleep apnea effectively.
Among the reasons why this device is a comfortable option for people with sleep apnea include:
- Customization– A mouth guard for sleep apnea is usually custom-made so that it can fit the mouth of a patient while providing a certain comfort level.
- Available in different styles– There are many styles of mouth guard for sleep apnea. Dr. Gabe will recommend the most appropriate style for you depending on your specific needs.
- It does not affect your jaw or tongue movement– A mouth guard for sleep apnea will not intrude on your tongue or fix the jaw together. It is possible to open mouth comfortably and talk while wearing it.
- Discreet and small– This device is small and not easily noticeable by other people. You can wear a mouth guard for sleep apnea and close your lips.
Benefits of Mouth Guard for Sleep Apnea
The major benefits of mouth guard for sleep apnea include the fact that it is convenient for wearing while traveling. It has a small size and it is non-invasive. It is easy to use and comfortable. When compared to surgery, mouth guard is the best option because most people relapse after surgery.
Types of Oral Devices
Mouth guards for treating sleep apnea are available in two major types. These are Tongue retraining devices (TRD) and Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD).
TRD devices work by restraining the wearer’s tongue from falling or leaning to the back of their throat thereby causing airflow obstruction. A TRD device functions like a splint by holding the tongue in its place as the wearer sleeps.
A MAD device is fitted just like a mouth guard. It alleviates the obstruction of airflow in the wearer by positioning their jaw forward. This moves it slightly from the normal state to allow for natural airflow as the wearer sleeps.
Fitting a Mouth Guard
Practice parameters that should be used to treat obstructive sleep apnea using oral appliances were produced by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Since there are wide variations in tooth placement, tongue positioning and jaw size, the most effective mouth guards are custom-fitted.
That’s why it is highly recommended that you have sleep apnea mouth guards fitted by a reputable, experienced dental professional like Dr. Gabe Doria at his dental practice in Bayonne, New Jersey in Hudson County. Ideally, an experienced dental professional with training in dental occlusion, oral health, temporomandibular joint as well as the associated dental structures is the best expert to fit mouth guards for sleep apnea. Treatment should be followed up with regular sleep monitoring study.
Being a serious condition, obstructive sleep apnea is capable of causing other health problems and that is the reason why it should be treated early. Additionally, treating sleep apnea enables you to get enough sleep while reducing drowsiness.
When fitted medically, mouth guards provide the easiest, least expensive and least invasive sleep apnea treatment. They also help in reversing the long term oxygen deprivation effects on your health.
Contact us now to schedule your dental visit, book your appointment or get answers to your questions about mouth guards for sleep apnea.