It is natural for your mouth, throat, and jaw muscles to relax during sleep. However, for individuals who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, this condition is magnified. The muscles loosen too much and collapse. As a result, they tend to block the airway which makes it difficult to breathe. Without enough oxygen someone with sleep apnea will wake up multiple times throughout the night. In fact, they can waken hundreds of times losing hours and hours of sleep.
At Smiles by Dr. Patel, your dentist in Ajax, ON, may recommend a CPAP device to control your breathing. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is a common treatment for patients who suffer from severe sleep apnea. The machine consists of a face or nose mask, or a nasal pillow that is connected to a tube that delivers compressed air. Normal breathing is maintained because the steady pressure stream keeps the airway open. CPAP is the standard treatment prescribed.
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is becoming a more popular sleep apnea solution. OAT is an effective measure for controlling sleep apnea symptoms. Furthermore, the FDA has approved more than 100 different OAT appliances for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. These oral appliances are custom-made and worn like an orthodontic retainer or a mouthguard during sleep. The work by holding the bottom jaw forward. OAT moves the jaw just enough to prevent the airway from closing.
For cases that don’t require CPAP or surgery, a mouth appliance can help you get the productive sleep you need. A custom-fit sleep apnea oral appliance will open your airway so you can breathe normally. We offer several options at Smiles by Dr. Patel to meet the unique needs of our sleep apnea patients. First, we will work with your physician or sleep specialist to determine the best treatment approach. Our goal is for you to achieve a full night’s sleep that leaves you rested. What’s more, for less severe cases of sleep apnea we always start with the most conservative measure.