Sleep apnea is the temporary cessation of breathing during sleep. It’s often times indicated by snoring, and typically, sufferers will wake up gasping for breath. Sleep apnea may occur repeatedly, resulting in a poor night’s sleep and daytime drowsiness. The disease can also cause serious health issues such as increased blood pressure and the restriction of oxygen to the brain and bloodstream. If you fall into this category, scroll down to learn more about how Austin Family Dentistry can help you.
There are more than 80 different oral devices on the market to treat sleep apnea. Tongue retaining devices are a popular treatment technique, as are mandibular repositioning dental appliances, or devices that move the lower jaw forward. Both of these options serve to reduce the likelihood of the tongue falling backward and blocking the airway.
Oral appliances are most effective in the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea, although they do provide a treatment alternative for patients with severe OSA who cannot or will not tolerate positive airway pressure therapy. Despite their double-retainer-like appearance, oral appliances are typically comfortable to use. Sometimes for more complicated cases, an oral appliance and CPAP are used in combination.
Oral devices used to treat OSA must be prescribed by a physician and fitted by a dentist, oral surgeon or ENT who has sleep medicine experience. Our office is able to prescribe and fit these devices.
Are you ready to schedule an appointment with us? Begin by filling out our sleep apnea history exam and online patient form.