Oral Appliance Therapy
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, getting treatment is essential. Not only does the right treatment to improve your sleep quality, but it can also help to improve and protect your general health. There are a few different types of treatments for sleep apnea, including treatment that can be provided by dentists. At Advanced Dental Associates, we can help to treat your sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy.
Mandibular Advancement Devices
There are a couple of different types of oral appliances. An oral appliance is a device that is made to be worn in your mouth while you sleep. It is kind of like a sports mouthguard in a way. A mandibular advancement device is also referred to as a MAD. This type of device has two parts. One covers your top teeth, and the other covers the teeth in your bottom jaw. These two parts are connected by adjustable hinges, which help to ensure an optimal, effective fit. The main function of this type of oral appliance is to keep your lower jaw forward in its proper alignment. By preventing your lower jaw from falling back, this keeps your oral tissues forward and your airway clear.
Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces
The other type of oral appliance is known as a tongue retaining mouthpiece. The design of this type of oral appliance is similar to a MAD, but with one extra piece. Tongue retaining mouthpieces have a special compartment for your tongue, which is held in place by suction. Holding your tongue forward keeps it from blocking your airway so that you can breathe normally while you sleep.
Can I Get an Oral Appliance Elsewhere?
There are different types of oral appliances that you can pick up over the counter. However, these types of appliances are not recommended. Instead, it is recommended that you have one professionally made. Over the counter appliances may not fit your mouth correctly, which can cause them to fall out or interfere with your breathing even more. Professionally made oral appliances are made to fit your mouth perfectly. This ensures an optimal fit as well as optimal results.
Is Oral Appliance Therapy Right for Me?
One of the most frequently recommended treatments for sleep apnea is a C-PAP machine. While this machine can help to keep your airway open, it is not always the best option for everyone. You can get tangled up in the tubes if you toss and turn in your sleep. Some people find it difficult to sleep with the mask on your face. The airflow can also dry out your nasal passages. If you have tried a C-PAP, but are not having much luck with it, an oral appliance may be a good alternative. You may also be a candidate if you have been recommended a C-PAP machine but are not keen on the idea of using it.
Keep in mind that oral appliance therapy is only meant for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea. It is not the best solution for everyone. For some, the C-PAP does provide the best results. If you have more severe sleep apnea, you may require a different treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be able to help. For more information, call Advanced Dental Associates at (210) 714-5589 today.