Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a patient’s airway to become partially or fully blocked while they sleep. This can lead to snoring, pauses in breathing, and even serious health problems like cardiovascular conditions and stroke.
Oral sleep apnea devices are worn while sleeping and are designed to open the airway and allow more air to pass through. These devices are recommended for patients who snore loudly, experience daytime sleepiness, and are diagnosed with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Some of the common symptoms of sleep apnea are:
- Frequently disturbed sleep
- Sore throat
- Dry mouth
- Daytime sleepiness
- Frequent headache
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Swelling of your mouth
- Trouble swallowing
Types of Oral Sleep Apnea Devices
There are several types of sleep apnea devices. Some devices are designed to be worn similarly to a mouthguard and custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth. Other devices include CPAP machines that come with a mask the patient wears over the nose and mouth during sleep.
An oral sleep apnea device can be used when a patient has mild to moderate sleep apnea. It can be used as an alternative to a CPAP machine. However, an oral appliance should never be used to treat severe sleep apnea. Severe sleep apnea requires treatment with a CPAP device, and an oral appliance is not enough.
Benefits of Using an Oral Sleep Apnea Device
Oral devices open your airway, allow you to breathe properly, and prevent you from snoring. Most patients find these devices comfortable and easy to wear.
Oral sleep apnea devices are beneficial because they are convenient, allowing you to move more freely, and, as opposed to CPAP machines, they can easily be taken with you wherever you go.
When Is Surgery Used to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Surgical procedures are sometimes used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. They are often the last resort when the condition is severe and associated with other health problems.
The most common of these surgical procedures is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This procedure removes and reshapes the soft palate and uvula, which are tissues in the back of the throat. If these tissues obstruct the airway, they can be removed through UPPP. UPPP can be very effective. However, it can have side effects like difficulty swallowing, persistent sore throat, and excessive bleeding.
To find out more about the dental services we offer at Allisonville Dental Centre, call (317) 547-5766 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit us at 2811 E 46th St, Indianapolis 46205.