Many people — and their partners — have poor sleep due to snoring. Snoring is more than just an annoyance, it’s often a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Studies estimate that a half a million adults suffer from snoring and obstructive sleep apnea which makes them two of the most common sleep disorders.
Aside from preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep, snoring and/or sleep apnea can also put you at an increased risk of cardiovascular and systemic diseases. The most common treatment for OSA is a CPAP machine, but Dr. Reid, a dentist in Truckee, CA, can help with an alternative treatment in the form of an oral appliance to wear while you’re asleep.
Q: What causes sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is most commonly associated with obesity or excess weight. Certain sleep positions can cause the airway to become obstructed as the muscles relax during sleep, restricting airflow to the rest of the body. The sleeper will awaken multiple times every night, gasping for air and will wake up feeling tired, fall asleep during the day, and have issues with memory and concentration.
Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. How does the oral appliance work?
While CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, an oral appliance offers a similar result. Both treatments hold the airway open during sleep, when the soft tissue in the mouth are more relaxed. However, instead of a constant pressure from flowing air holding the airway open during sleep, as is the case with CPAP therapy, the oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to position the mouth in such a way that the airway remains open.
The appliance repositions the bottom jaw forward to prevent the soft tissue from collapsing over the airway. It’s durable enough to withstand bruxism — teeth grinding — so even those with a habit of grinding their teeth at night can benefit from the device.
Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?
Dr. Reid meets with patients for an individual consultation where they will examine the mouth and make sure the appliance is fitted correctly and comfortably. The device does reposition the jaw, but it’s fitted to the patient’s mouth to be comfortable and to disrupt sleep as little as possible. Most patients report less snoring, better sleep and happier mornings after a few days wearing the device!
Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get it?
What makes this appliance so comfortable and effective is how well it’s fitted to the individual patient’s mouth. Dr. Reid will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure the device is as comfortable as possible. We don’t want discomfort to prevent you from getting the best night’s sleep possible!
Our caring staff at Donald Reid Dental Artistry in Truckee, CA wants to help you get better sleep. Call (530) 206-0392 or schedule an appointment online today.