Learn About Oral Appliance Therapy
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea can experience troubled sleep, as the upper airway is blocked during sleep, causing the diaphragm and chest muscles to work hard to open those airways. As this condition affects about 25 percent of men and 10 percent of women, obstructive sleep apnea causes excessive snoring, daytime sleepiness, restlessness, dry mouth, and difficulties concentrating, and can lead to a number of health problems if not treated.
At Medical Arts Dentistry, Dr. Carla H. Roher, Diplomate, ABDSM, DMD, FAGD, can provide oral appliance therapy, where dental appliances can be used to help open up the airways during sleep and help stop excessive snoring. These custom-fitted devices can improve your sleep, restore daytime alertness, and bolster your health.
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?
Oral appliance therapy provides patients with custom-fitted oral appliances. These appliances enlarge the upper airways, positioning the mandibular bone and tongue forward, and are an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. These devices can be used as an alternative to the CPAP machine, improving sleep quality and oxygen intake. Within oral appliance therapy, there are two basic types of oral appliances:
- Mandibular Repositioners: Mandibular Repositioners pull the mandible and tongue forward. By repositioning these areas forward, these devices act as a snore guard and can treat mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea.
- Tongue-Retaining Devices: Tongue retaining devices work by adhering to the tongue by suction and pulling it forward. Although less commonly found in clinical practices, it acts similar to a sports mouth guard and can be used for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Both of these devices can be prescribed by Dr. Roher and custom-made for your mouth and can also be used to treat conditions such as nighttime bruxism, TMJ disorder, orthodontic malocclusion, and those with a sensitive gag reflex. It’s important that when you choose oral appliance therapy, you speak with a sleep specialist to determine if oral appliance therapy is the right treatment option for you.
The Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive form of treatment that can easily fit into anyone’s lifestyle. These devices are easy to wear, comfortable, portable, and can be easily cleaned. But most of all, these devices can help you sleep better, have more energy, and feel more alert throughout the day. Most of all, when you receive treatment at Medical Arts Dentistry, Dr. Roher will make custom adjustments to make sure that you receive comfortable, quiet, and refreshing sleep each night. Through your custom fitting session, getting oral appliance therapy can be a way to help manage obstructive sleep apnea and improve your oral health.
For more information about oral appliance therapy, you can learn by contacting Medical Arts Dentistry. Call (912) 355-0605 for your preliminary consultation, and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions about oral appliance therapy and other procedures to benefit your health and improve the look and feel of your smile.