Today sleep apnea has become a serious topic especially for those who are affected by this sleep disorder. The good news is that there are sleep apnea dental devices available today that can help to keep the airway open while an individual sleeps. These devices have been created and designed by dental professionals who specialize in the science of treating sleep apnea. Anyone diagnosed with what is typically referred to as obstructive sleep apnea has options today. This is a type of sleep disorder where a relaxation of the muscles associated with the tongue and throat result in blocked airflow to the lungs . It is caused by tissue within the mouth. There are a number of effective and reliable treatments that can help eliminate sleep apnea.
Preventing The Problems Associated With Sleep Apnea
Two of the most common types of treatments are known as continuous positive airway pressure and mouth guards that are essentially dental appliances. With regard to continuous positive airway pressure, air is provided under continuous pressure into the throat while the individual sleeps. This keeps the airways open at night preventing the problems associated with sleep apnea. This type of treatment requires something known as a CPAP machine. This machine consists of a motor that blows air directly into the patient’s airway. This is done through a mask that fits directly over the nose or over the nose and mouth. Straps are used to hold the mask firmly in place while an individual sleeps .
This type of device also makes use of heavy-duty tubes known as cannula. In essence, these tubes connect the motor to the actual mask that will be worn. The good news for patients is that this type of machine is lightweight as well as small and quiet so that sleeping with the device is manageable. Even those on vacation or traveling can use this type of device as a way to better deal with sleep apnea. The main advantage of using a CPAP machine is that it keeps airways open while sleeping. This reduces snoring and improves overall general sleep quality. As an end result, patients are less groggy or sleepy during the day and enjoy lower and more stabilized blood pressure.
Mandibular Advancement Devices
As an alternative, patients can make use of mouth devices provided by dental care providers. This type of device must be fitted by a dental professional or orthodontist and worn in the mouth throughout the night while sleeping . Mandibular advancement devices are the most common type of device prescribed for sleep apnea. The device looks very similar to sporting type mouth guards. It simply snaps over the lower and upper dental arches. As a note, in some rare instances certain types of tongue retaining devices are used for the same reason. This kind of device simply holds the tongue in place ensuring that the airway remains open. Contact your Tigard dentist, Dr. Rashidi at Washington Square Dental today to learn more about dental devices and sleep apnea.