Sleep Matters offers dental alternatives to conventional sleep apnea management techniques. Instead of pressure breathing machines such as CPAP, your sleep apnea is controlled with the help of a oral appliances which opens the airway by gently moving your lower jaw forward while you sleep. This method is also effective and proven for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
In the past, sleep apnea has been treated with the help of pressurized technique or a machine called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). The machine involves the use of a humidifier, compressor, hose and a mask, which creates constant air pressure, helping the patient to keep the airway from collapsing. CPAP technique is considered to be an effective solution to control obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. Yet there are a few people who do not use the machine due to its noise, discomfort, inconvenience, claustrophobia, lifestyle and more.
A dental professional who is specially trained in dental sleep medicine will provide you with a custom oral airway dilator. The appliance looks similar to a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer, which fits over your teeth to move the lower jaw slightly forward or placed to apply gentle pressure on the tongue to keep it from falling back.
People with mild OSA who experience snoring may not be prescribed to wear any type of appliances, instead they are suggested to lose weight, avoid alcohol, stop smoking, prevent drugs, and avoid the use of tobacco products can reduce or eliminate snoring gradually.
Positional therapy involves sleeping on sides instead of sleeping on one’s back. This technique will keep the weight of the person’s neck from collapsing on the airway. This shift may help some, but not all.
In order to treat upper airway obstruction, sleep apnea specialists use various methods to treat snoring and sleep apnea causes. The treatment may involve minimally invasive procedures as well as more complex surgery. At times a specialist may remove the excess tissue in the throat, nasal passages, tonsils, uvula, and parts of the soft palate.
Oral appliances are easy and comfortable to wear, they are small and compact making it more convenient to carry them while traveling. It is an ideal treatment for people who are claustrophobic.
There is no cure for sleep apnea but there are a variety of options for effective sleep apnea management. Consult our sleep medicine specialist as to which option best suits you.