Oral appliance therapy is a treatment for sleep-related breathing disorders, loud snoring, and sleep apnea. It is a flexible appliance worn in the mouth during sleep. The tailor-made oral device holds the lower jaw in a forward position. When used correctly, mild sleep apnea symptoms can be reduced and even eliminated.
How Do Oral Appliances Work?
The working of an oral appliance for sleep apnea is simple and resembles a boxer’s bite guard. It is placed within the mouth and makes the jaw bone rest in a forward position. This significant modification in the positioning of the jawbone helps stabilize the tongue and lower jaw, thus creating space for air to enter and allow the patient to sleep more easily.
Who Would Need Oral Appliances?
Oral appliance therapy is a convenient and easily manageable alternative to the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, and it is perfect for patients who:
- Are suffering from mild to modest obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- At increased risk for sleep apnea and want to prevent it
- Had prior corrective surgery but still have no relief from sleep apnea symptoms
- Have problems adjusting with the CPAP machine
- Snore loudly and regularly
- Travel frequently and need a more portable treatment option
- Could benefit from combined therapy of a CPAP machine and an oral appliance
What Are the Advantages of Oral Appliances?
Each of our oral appliances is fabricated from durable and flexible materials. As a result, it becomes easier to wear the device, besides it drastically improves the quality of sleep. They are easier to care for, so they have a much higher success rate than a CPAP machine. For people who can’t sleep with a CPAP machine, oral appliance therapy provides the ideal solution.
What Can Be Expected From an Oral Sleep Apnea Appliance?
While an oral appliance is often much more comfortable than a CPAP machine, a small adjustment duration is necessary when a person starts wearing one. Luckily, these side effects are minor and usually last a week. They include:
- Tension, clicking or popping in the jaw
- Sore gums and teeth
- An increase or decrease in the saliva production
- Changes in the bite
If you have any alarming pain or soreness associated with your oral appliance, call Louie Family Dentistry in Fremont, CA 94538 at (510) 656-7778 and schedule an appointment.
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