Oral appliances are used for more reasons than just protecting the teeth during a sports game or after orthodontic treatment. They are also used for treating conditions like sleep apnea. This disruptive sleeping disorder can be hard to manage, but with the help of oral appliances, more people are finding relief.In this article, we outline…
What Is the Experience of Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea Like?
If you have sleep apnea, you likely use a CPAP. While CPAPs are effective, many people do not like to use them. They can be uncomfortable, and since they are bulky, the machines make travel difficult. If you do not like using a CPAP, you might be interested in oral appliance therapy. First, though, it is important to understand what you will experience when using an oral device.
Types of appliances
The experience of using a device partially depends on the type of device selected. Dentists offer two types of devices for sleep apneasleep apnea. People can choose from mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and tongue retaining mouthpieces.
Mandibular advancement devices
MADs look like mouthguards that are used in sports, but instead of sports, these devices treat sleep apnea. MADs snap over the dental arches and fit over the upper and lower teeth.
These devices open up the airways by pushing the tongue and lower jaw forward. MAPs are customized for each patient and can be adjusted if needed.
Tongue retaining mouthpieces
If the jaw cannot be repositioned, dentists will create a tongue retaining mouthpiece. These mouthpieces use suction to hold the tongue in place, so it does not restrict the airway. Tongue retaining mouthpieces can also be adjusted.
Using the device
Once the device is created, it is ready for use. People put the devices in their mouths before sleep. While each patient is different, many report the same experiences with using the device.
Many people report that these devices are more comfortable to use than CPAP masks. Since the devices fit directly into the mouth, many people state that they are easier to tolerate than bulky masks.
Sinuses and oral appliance therapy
Some patients complain that CPAPs dry out their sinus cavities due to the airflow coming in from the machine. Oral appliances do not blow air into the nose, so these devices do not dry out the sinuses.
Compliance for active movers
People who move a lot in their sleep have issues with CPAP compliance. It is easy to knock a hose loose or even remove the mask. Compliance is easier for active movers who use oral devices since there is less equipment.
Traveling with oral appliances
Traveling with an oral device is much easier than traveling with a CPAP. These devices are small enough to fit inside of a pocket, so people can take their devices on vacation without any issues.
Possible side effects
Some patients do experience mild side effects when using these devices to treat sleep apnea. Side effects include jaw and tooth soreness, dry mouth and excessive salivation. Patients should discuss the side effects with their dentists prior to undergoing treatment.
Getting an oral appliance
If you are interested in oral appliance therapy, your dentist can help. Your dentist will customize a device just for you. Then, your dentist will schedule follow-up appointments to ensure the device is working properly. With the proper device, you can finally get that restful sleep you crave.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea.
While implant supported dentures may sound intimidating at first, they can become a crucial part of a person’s healthcare. Healthy teeth are one of the most important elements of a high-quality life. When a person’s teeth start to fail, their physical and mental health can start to decline as well. A loss of joy in…
Are you wondering how dentists use dental lasers? If you are like most dental patients these days, you are looking for a dentist who uses advanced dental technologies. These dental advances allow for a higher quality of dental services and treatments. They help procedure occur quickly and efficiently.Three of the more exciting advancements include digital…
For some people, it may start as some irritation in the throat or their head feels like an elephant is sitting on it, and their dental health is the furthest thing from their mind. As the congestion builds up and their body begins having that heavy feeling, a person can typically tell that they are…