LEARN ABOUT sLEEP
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Your sleep impacts every aspect of your health and daily life. Sleeping well helps you look, feel and perform your best. But a sleep problem can be harmful to your health and well-being. One of the most common sleep problems is obstructive sleep apnea. Learn more about the warning signs and how you can get help.
About Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Nearly 54 million adults in the U.S. have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.
Sleep Apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.
Common signs of Sleep Spnea include snoring and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Like snoring, Sleep Apnea is more common in men, but it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause. Having excess body weight, a narrow airway or misaligned jaw all increase the risk of sleep apnea.
With no Dental Sleep Appliance in place the tongue and soft tissues have relaxed back blocking the airway.
Open Airway With Dental Sleep Appliance With the appliance in place it advances the lower jaw and tongue forward opening the airway.
Is Treating OSA Important?
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea is incredibly important to your health. When left untreated, Sleep Apnea often causes excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, as well as morning headaches and memory loss. Sleep Apnea also is a threat to your safety as it increases your risk of drowsy driving and workplace accidents. Untreated Sleep Apnea raises your risk for serious health problems. These include:
High blood pressure
Chronic acid reflux
Severe, untreated Sleep Apnea even increases your risk of death.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral Appliance Therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). A custom-fit oral sleep appliance can improve your sleep, restore your alertness and revitalize your health. Here is a guide to help you get started with this life-changing treatment.
Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance fits like an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
If you and your doctor decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then your doctor will write a prescription for you to receive a custom-made oral appliance. You will also receive a referral to a qualified dentist who can provide oral appliance therapy. More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. Your dentist will recommend the oral appliance that is best for you. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.
Living with Oral Appliance Therapy
Treating snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea with oral appliance therapy can make you feel like a new person. You will find that your symptoms, and your quality of life, can improve dramatically when you remain committed to your treatment and use it nightly. It is likely that you will sleep better, have more energy and feel sharper throughout the day. You may find that your bed partner begins to sleep better, too!
Dental Sleep Appliances
Oral appliances are customized using digital or physical impressions and models of your teeth. These models are sent to a dental lab where the appliance is made.