Oral Appliances in Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially chronic sleep disorder that can harm breathing during sleep. Those afflicted have breathing that starts and stops during sleep, with symptoms such as snoring, feeling fatigued during the day, and waking up during the night with shortness of breath. Sleep apnea does not allow the brain and body to get enough oxygen, which can in turn cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, depression, and poor concentration.

However, sleep apnea is very responsive to treatment, especially with personalized oral appliances. These are worn in the mouth during sleep, and they help keep the tongue from collapsing and blocking the airway. This allows the patient to obtain as much oxygen as possible, and the appliance is custom-made to fit each patient’s anatomy. It acts to reposition the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate, and uvula. This helps the tongue stabilize and tones the tongue muscles.

These personalized oral appliances mainly come in two forms. One of these forms is a retaining appliance that helps position the tongue forward, away from the airway, using a suction bulb. The other type is a mandibular repositioning appliance, which protrudes the lower jaw, puling the tongue away from the airway.

Such appliances are immensely helpful in sleep apnea treatment. They are highly convenient because they are comfortable and easy to use, as well as easy to transport due to their small size. They are also much more effective than over-the-counter options because they are personalized.

Oral appliances are extremely useful in treatment of sleep apnea. Almost half of all patients have been able to control their disorder with such instruments, including those with severe cases. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is another option for sleep apnea treatment, but it is very invasive and inconvenient. CPAP involves wearing a mask connected to a machine that generates a large amount of noise. Oral appliances are more affordable and much more convenient.

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