Posts for tag: Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where the relaxed muscles surrounding the throat and tongue blocks the airflow to the lungs as you sleep. One of the most widely used and effective methods of treatment for OSA is oral appliance therapy.
Here at Schneider Family Dentistry in Rockville, MD, our dentists, Dr. Adam Schneider and Dr. Katie Staub, have helped many patients find relief from sleep apnea symptoms through oral appliance therapy.
Oral Appliance Therapy Basics
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) remains the most widely prescribed treatment option. On the other hand, not all individuals can qualify for this treatment due to various reasons. Fortunately, these individuals can turn to oral appliance therapy to get the relief they need.
There are different types of oral appliances that can be used to address the symptoms of sleep apnea. Essentially, however, patients under oral appliance therapy will be required to wear a customized mouthpiece as they go to sleep every night. This is designed to help ease the symptoms associated with sleep apnea.
To ensure that it is comfortable in the mouth as the patient sleeps, a mold of the teeth is used to customize the appliance. Understanding the relationship between your mouth, teeth, and airway is essential in designing the oral appliance. It will ensure that all elements remain balanced to allow you to comfortably breathe as you slumber. These oral appliances can likewise help curb severe snoring.
Also, oral appliances can fall under three categories:
- Mandibular Repositioning Devices. These are designed to gently shift your jaw forward and prevent the soft tissues in the mouth and throat from blocking the airway.
- Tongue Retaining Device. These are customized to keep the tongue in its neutral position to avoid obstructing the airway.
- Hybrid Devices. These oral appliances are capable of shifting the jaw and keeping the tongue in a neutral position simultaneously.
It will be up to your dentist in Rockville, MD, to decide which specific oral appliance will best suit your needs.
How Oral Appliance Therapy Works
Patients who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA typically use oral mandibular advancement devices. These types of dental appliances are intended to prevent the tongue from obstructing the throat, or to move forward the lower jaw of the patient, and allow the smooth passage of air. By allowing the airway to remain open as the patient sleeps, the symptoms of OSA are addressed.
This is not the only type of oral appliance used for OSA symptoms. Each of the oral appliances is designed to provide a solution to a specific set of symptoms or problems. For example, a particular oral appliance can be designed for sleep apnea alone. Another appliance can address symptoms not just of sleep apnea but of teeth grinding as well.
For Help Managing Your Sleep Apnea Symptoms, Talk to Us
Arrange a meeting with your dentist here at Schneider Family Dentistry in Rockville, MD, Dr. Adam Schneider or Dr. Katie Staub, by dialing (301) 948-3111.
Sleep apnea is a disruptive sleep disorder that affects as many as 22 million Americans according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. More Americans could have this disorder than reported because most glaring symptoms only show when the patient is asleep. Do you believe that you may be struggling with sleep apnea, or has someone you love told you that your snoring has gotten out of control? The team at Schneider Family Dentistry in Gaithersburg, MD, can help you with dental CPAP alternatives.
Struggling with Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea causes intermittent moments of waking while you’re asleep, and loud snoring. This is caused by the tonsils, tongue, or other soft tissues blocking the throat and obstructing normal breathing. Sleep apnea patients usually don’t realize that they’re waking up dozens of times during the night, and can’t understand why they still feel tired in the morning. Men are most likely to struggle with sleep apnea, as are certain cultural and familial groups. Being overweight is also a contributing factor.
Sleep Apnea Help
Living with sleep apnea could lead to other medication conditions (including depression, lack of sexual function, cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, and memory problems) if it isn’t brought under control. Some patients are reluctant to sleep with a bulky, noisy CPAP mask. Luckily, dental CPAP alternatives are available. Your Gaithersburg, MD, dentist can create a custom oral device that you’ll wear while sleeping to position the jaw forward and keep the airway free.
Other Tips for Sleep Apnea Prevention
In addition to wearing a dental device that helps keep your air passageways clear while you sleep, there are additional lifestyle changes you can make to ensure a better night of sleep. Losing weight can provide major improvements for sleep apnea patients. Starting a smoking cessation program and limiting alcohol use can also help improve symptoms. You might also consider reducing your caffeine consumption.
Sleep Better and Longer
The better the quality of your sleep, the better you’ll feel in the morning and throughout the day. Dental CPAP alternatives could provide you with the low maintenance help that you need to cure your sleep apnea. Call (301) 948-3111 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Adam Schneider or Dr. Katie Staub in Gaithersburg, MD.
Ignoring sleep apnea symptoms can have a devastating effect on your health. Luckily, your dentist can help you keep your airway open and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other diseases and conditions. Gaithersburg, MD, dentists Dr. Adam Schneider and Dr. Katie Staub not only care for your teeth and mouth but also offer sleep apnea treatment.
Do I have sleep apnea?
You may have sleep apnea if you have one or more of these signs and symptoms:
- Loud Snoring: Loud snoring doesn't automatically mean you have sleep apnea, but it is a common sign. Snoring may occur if your airway becomes blocked or narrows while you sleep.
- Breathing Pauses: Sleep apnea stops your breathing for seconds at a time many times throughout the night. Although you may not be aware that you stop breathing, your partner, spouse or family member might notice the problem.
- Sudden Waking: Do you jerk awake suddenly during the night or wake up gasping for breath? Both of these actions force you to begin breathing again.
- Daytime Fatigue: Sleep apnea affects sleep quality and duration and may make you feel exhausted during the day. It may also affect your memory and your ability to concentrate.
- Depression and Irritability: Lack of sleep can lead to feelings of depression, irritability and moodiness.
How can my Gaithersburg dentist help?
If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may have tried a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The machine keeps your airway open by sending a constant stream of air into your throat. Although CPAP machines offer an effective way to manage sleep apnea symptoms, they're not the right choice for everyone. If you can't find a comfortable CPAP mask, or the sound keeps you or your partner awake, you may want to pay a visit to your dentist's office.
He or she can fit you with an oral appliance that you'll wear while you sleep. The device holds your jaw forward, which keeps your airway open and prevents your tongue from blocking your throat. The low-tech appliance is comfortable, portable and affordable.
Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea but aren't sure if a CPAP machine is right for you? You may benefit from an oral appliance. Call Gaithersburg, MD, dentists Drs. Adam Schneider and Katie Staub at (301) 948-3111 to schedule your appointment.