Sleep Apnea is a very common and potentially life threatening condition in which an obstruction in a person’s airway prevent them from breathing while they sleep, causing them to awaken repetitively throughout the night. The quality of life for a person with Sleep Apnea can be very poor. Their lack of sleep makes them unfocused and irritable and often leads to serious depression.
The dangers of Sleep Apnea are alarming; long-term studies show that people with untreated Sleep Apnea are three times more likely suffer an untimely death than people without it. In fact, drivers who suffer from Sleep Apnea are 6 times more likely to die in a car wreck.
Getting treatment could significantly improve the quality of life for people who exhibit the symptoms. Some people who have Sleep Apnea are hesitant to get treatment because they think the only options involve bulky sleep equipment or surgery. However, there are also dental solutions for Sleep Apnea that are non-invasive and very effective. Telling your dentist Sleep Apnea impacts your life may help you find a solution that is less intrusive.
How do You Know if You Have Sleep Apnea?
Talk to a doctor if you exhibit any of the most common symptoms associated with Sleep Apnea:
- Chronic snoring, especially when you sleep on your back.
- Being awakened by a choking or gasping sensation.
- Fighting sleepiness throughout the day as a result of poor sleep at night.
Additionally, you may have Sleep Apnea if you possess these less obvious symptoms:
- Waking up with a headache.
- Difficulty concentrating throughout the day.
- Experiencing drowsiness, irritability, or depression throughout the day.
- Waking up with a dry throat.
How Does a Mouthpiece for Sleep Apnea Help Improve Airflow?
There are over 100 different dental devices that are approved by the FDA for treating Sleep Apnea. Generally though, they all treat Sleep Apnea two ways:
- Mandibular Repositioning Devices (MRD)- The MRD helps position the lower jaw so that it protrudes and prevents the tongue from blocking the airway. This is the most common dentist Sleep Apnea solution. Dental experts say that MRDs can increase the upper airway capacity during sleep by as much as 75%.
- Tongue Retaining Devices- Tongue retaining devices only account for a few of the dental Sleep Apnea treatments on the market, but studies show they are extremely effective. Tongue retainers help by holding the tongue forward so that the back of the tongue doesn’t slump over the esophagus and block the airway.
Why Do People Choose Mouthpieces Over Other Sleep Apnea Treatments?
Many people who have used both sleep machines and mouthpieces to treat Sleep Apnea prefer the mouthpiece. The advantages to Sleep Apnea mouthpieces include:
- Mouthpieces are more comfortable to use than the sleep machine. Most people find that they acclimate to the mouthpiece after just a few days.
- Mouthpieces are small and convenient to carry with you, making them easier to travel with than the sleep machine.
- Sleep machines are loud and interfere with the sleep of anyone sharing a bed with a breathing machine user. Conversely, a Sleep Apnea mouthpiece doesn’t make any noise or take up space. Sharing a bed with a person using a Sleep Apnea mouthpiece actually improves conditions because there is less snoring.
Do you use a dentist Sleep Apnea solution when you sleep? What type of device do you use and how effective is it? Leave us a comment with the details!