Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes a person’s breathing to be interrupted while sleeping. A common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring and sometimes wake suddenly gasping for breath. This interruption prevents getting enough oxygen to the brain. Many problems happen because of this lack of oxygen in the brain, such as headaches, exhaustion and trouble thinking.
For patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common therapy is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). This therapy uses a machine that provides a constant flow of pressurized air to maintain an open airway. A mask is strapped on the face, which pushes air into the throat to keep your airways open.
While this is an effective method of handling sleep apnea, there are many problems connected with this. The machine can be noisy and cause excessive dryness of the nose and throat. Many complain that the mask is too uncomfortable to sleep in. The machine can also cause increased dreaming and nightmares, nasal congestion, abdominal bloating, and irritation to skin under the mask.
Many CPAP users stop using them due to the problems listed above.
A Better Alternative
An alternative treatment for sleep apnea is an oral appliance. There is over 15 years of evidence supporting the effectiveness of oral appliances to treat sleep apnea. This specially designed mouthpiece fits over your teeth and is custom made for you by a licensed dentist who has advanced training in dental sleep medicine. Our custom designed device gently and comfortably aligns the tongue and jaw to assure an open airway and allow normal airflow to the lungs as you sleep.
If you are looking for an alternative treatment to CPAP, an oral appliance is an effective treatment option. It is more comfortable to wear and does not cause the unwanted side effects that many people experience with CPAP. Call our office to find out more about our custom made oral appliances.