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Solutions For Sleep Apnea: Keep Calm And Sleep On With Oral Appliance Therapy

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If you are seeking solutions for sleep apnea that go beyond the traditional treatment of masks and obtrusive machines for you or a loved one, you may want to make an appointment with your dentist.

solutions for sleep apnea

Yes: your Dentist.

solutions for sleep apnea

Dental sleep medicine is a growing segment of dentistry that focuses on managing snoring and sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy (OAT) – an effective alternative to the standard continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and mask. According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), up to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients do not comply with or tolerate CPAP.

solutions for sleep apnea

“CPAP has maximum benefit for patients only when they are willing and able to use it continuously, and unfortunately some sleep apnea sufferers are unable to do so,” said B. Gail Demko, DMD, president of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. “Dental sleep medicine focuses on managing sleep-disordered breathing like snoring and obstructive sleep apnea using oral appliance therapy – a relatively unknown but very effective treatment option.”

solutions for sleep apnea

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) uses a “mouth guard-like” device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. OAT devices prevent the airway from collapsing by either holding the tongue or supporting the jaw in a forward position. For many, oral appliance devices are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. The end result is a more refreshed (and healthier) sleep.

 

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An example of the Oral Appliance Therapy device for sleep apnea.

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Showing how the appliance fits into the mouth 

 

Here are some additional facts about OAT from B. Gail Demko, DMD:

 

Who does Oral Appliance Therapy work best for?

“We recommend oral appliances for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and for those who can’t tolerate CPAP.”

 

There are so many different types of oral appliances – which one is best?

“There are more than 80 different FDA-approved oral appliances. Sleep dentists identify the right one to treat their patient’s unique needs.”

 

What are the side effects of OAT?

“Potential side effects of OAT are generally mild in nature and improve within a few weeks. They may include excessive salivation, muscle and tooth discomfort and occasional joint discomfort. Major adverse effects of OAT are uncommon but can include slight tooth movement, permanent changes in a patient’s bite, ongoing muscle soreness or loosening of dental restorations.”

 

What is the process for a person to receive OAT?

“Patients interested in OAT should first see a sleep physician to be diagnosed with sleep apnea, if they haven’t already. Once diagnosed, they can then go online to LocalSleepDentist.com to find a dentist in their area who can help treat snoring and sleep apnea.”

solutions for sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is serious business. I know because a friend of mine died from it some years ago, and I also have family members that suffer from it. Sleep apnea can also increase the risk for serious health problems—everything from congestive heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes, obesity, and depression can occur if left untreated. You definitely want to consult a Doctor immediately if you notice any potential signs of the condition.

 

If Oral Appliance Therapy sounds like the right solution for sleep apnea or loud and frequent snoring for you or your loved one, you can go to www.LocalSleepDentist.com to find a local dentist in your area trained in oral appliance therapy.

solutions for sleep apnea

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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Growing Up Madison

Sleep issues aren’t anything to joke about. Having little to no sleep can have such disastrous results on your body. I have no one suffering from sleep apnea but will have to keep this in mind.

Theresa

You know, it was my dentist who caught my daughter’s enlarged adnoids. I even inquired about her snoring and heavy breathing with her doctor who just blew it off. Thankfully we have a great dentist who got us the help we needed (90% of her airway was blocked!) and she is breathing much easier now.

Great tips!

Robin (Masshole Mommy)

My ex-husband had (I assume he still does) sleep apnea and he was supposed to wear a big mask to sleep, but he never did. The snoring was terrible and he ended up on the couch a lot.

Terry (My Journey With Candida)

I am going to have to let my Hubs read this. He has sleep apnea and is using a CPAP that doesn’t seem to help much. I think it would help if it felt comfortable.

Amber Edwards

I much prefer this option for sleep apnea treatment than the CPAP!
My mom has sleep apnea and we think my sisters and I may have it. Though we haven’t been able to get tested yet. But the CPAP just bothers me. I feel claustrophobic and breathe even worse with it. As does my mom and my sisters. SO I’m really glad to know there is now an alternative.

Melanie S.
Melanie S.

My husband could definitely benefit from this. I just have to figure out how to convince him!

Jennifer Williams

That is very interesting, I know a couple of people that have had issues with this for many years. One turned to therapy that is similar and it worked very well for him.

Karen

This is very informative. I am of the opinion that my husband suffers with this but he refuses to check it out. Will show him this and let him see that there are other solutions.

kay adeola

Thank you for sharing that is very interesting that there is something like this

Kristen @ kristenione

This is fascinating. I never realized sleep apnea could be treated from a dental perspective. I have several family members that I want to show this to!

Dawn ~ Spatulas On Parade

I have a mouth guard from my dentist but it looks nothing like this one. I can see where it would help,. Mine is so big I feel like I’m choking so I don’t wear it.

patricia
patricia

Thanks for all this information. I am definitely going to keep this in mind. I was told I grind my teeth in my sleep. My husband snores a lot too so I wonder if he needs something like this.

michelle

I think this is a wonderful innovation. I know several people who need some kind of sleep help but have avoided a CPAP because of the look. Thanks for the information.

amanda
amanda

You know I don’t have sleep apnea but some of the hints may be useful for just better sleep as it is.

Mel Cole

My mom in law would love to have this as she has troubles with her cpap lately.

Kate, aka guavalicious

I have sleep apnea and HATE the CPAP. I am going to see if a local dentist works with this company.

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