Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, which involves wearing an oral appliance in the mouth at night before sleeping. This appliance may resemble either an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouthguard, and helps by either holding the tongue or repositioning the jaw to assist with easy breathing. It can also avoid collapsing of the air passageways of the individual. Madison Family Dental Associates will guide you in using this type of treatment and can answer any questions you have.
Why and Who May Need an Oral Appliance Therapy
This type of therapy is beneficial for people with a less severe condition of sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy helps them regain the ease of daily life, which was lost due to sleep apnea such as concentration and quality sleep.
Types of Oral Appliances
There is a variety of appliances that help in treating obstructive sleep apnea. All of them fall under two categories of oral appliances. A mandibular repositioning device helps hold the jaw in a specific position and does not allow it to be misplaced. This prevents the air passageways from collapsing and blocking the air intake by holding the lower jaw in a slightly forward and down position. Second, a tongue retainer which helps in holding or restraining the tongue so that the air passageways do not collapse, and air intake is not blocked. Both of these devices allow the individual to get a good night’s sleep.
How Is an Oral Appliance Fitted?
After diagnosing sleep apnea by our sleep physician, the individual is recommended to visit our dentist trained in sleep medicine who will help with the procedure. Before starting, an x-ray of the mouth will be taken, and the mouth examined. After the examination, a physical or digital print of the mouth will be created and sent to a laboratory. The laboratory will build the oral appliance precisely according to the impression. A custom-fit is very important for the effectiveness of the oral appliances treating sleep apnea otherwise, they are quite useless. After the oral appliance has been built, the dentist will help in the adjustment and fitting of the appliance.
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy involves an oral appliance, which has many few benefits. Because of this, it is quite common. They are very easy to wear and use. It is small and easy to transport as well. Along with helping to treat sleep apnea, it also helps decrease the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Ultimately, daytime fatigue is lowered, and concentration and emotional stability are achieved.
Along with the benefits also come some drawbacks, but they are mostly minor. Some of them include parching, excessive saliva production, temporary bite changes, and tooth and jaw discomfort. To overcome these, make sure to drink water and do little jaw movement exercises after waking up to avoid any potential damage.
This therapy allows individuals to feel more energetic and better as they get back to their normal sleep cycle. For more information on oral appliance therapy feel free to contact Madison Family Dental Associates at 608-274-5970.