Being able to sleep soundly at night is said to be therapeutic for the body as well as the mind. You may be surprised to know that the sleep health is so closely linked with your oral health that many dentists actually are experts in treating your sleep apnea with the oral appliance therapy.
The oral appliances have emerged as the alternative to CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If you are a loud snorer or have sleep apnea then oral appliance can help you to sleep better and enhance your overall health.
Now you may be thinking what kind of devices are these? Here is a glimpse of that.
Mouth devices are primarily of two types – Tongue retaining device and Mandibular advancement device (MAD). You can purchase them over-the-counter or can custom-make them. To have any of them fitted you must see the dentist.
- Tongue Retaining Device – This is sort of a splint that holds the tongue in place for keeping the airway open. The doctors do not prescribe them as much as they recommend the Mandibular advancement device. This equipment can be less comfortable and can be a bit difficult to get used to.
- Mandibular advancement device (MAD) – This is more like a mouthguard worn by the athletes. It snaps over the upper and lower teeth. Hinges let the lower jaw ease forth that keeps the soft palate and tongue stable. This way the airway stays open while you are still asleep.
Here are some of the ways in which the oral appliance can treat sleep disorders. Just take a look.
- Helps to Treat Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome or Snoring – As opposed to popular belief, everybody who snores does not have sleep apnea. It is often one of the extreme ends of the sleep disordered breathing spectrum. The other end consists of the simple snoring that though harmless to the snorer can end up disturbing the sleep of the snorer’s bed partner. In between the obstructive sleep apnea and the uncomplicated or simple snoring is the Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). Though this ailment does not have a plethora of grave and long-term health issues like that of sleep apnea, but it can cause disruptions in the patient’s sleep leaving him tired the next day. If the UARS is not controlled, it can lead to OSA. An oral appliance can help to control the condition before it takes an aggressive turn.
- Decreases Symptoms – You will suffer less symptoms of the sleep disorder like gasping, snoring and choking during sleep as the oral appliance assists in keeping the airways open. You will be able to wake up refreshed the next morning as you will be able to enjoy less interrupted sleep. Sleeping the suggested hours of 8-9 hours for the adults and about 10-12 hours for the kids will be able to improve the overall health of not only the adults but the kids, too. The oral appliance is an effective and safe alternative to the CPAP therapy although for the more severe cases of sleep apnea CPAP is the right choice.
- Helps When Your Are Unable to Tolerate the CPAP Therapy or Do Not Succeed the CPAP Compliance – There are a lot of complaints that CPAP patients have regarding the discomfort of wearing the CPAP machine like tolerating the air-pressure or claustrophobia from wearing the mask and more. There are many who refuse to continue with the CPAP treatment. For those patients opting for the oral device is the best option. For the patients with moderate to severe symptoms of Sleep Apnea and who are on CPAP machine, the AHI index won’t come down to 0 with oral device as is possible with CPAP. But the numbers can surely be lowered. At least, a little assistance is preferable than no help at all.
- Makes Travelling Easier – Another challenge that is often faced by the CPAP users is the difficulty of carrying the equipment whenever they travel somewhere. It can be an onerous task to move around with masks, machines, accessories and battery packs and many patients try to go without treatment during the travel for this. With the oral device you can avoid such problems as this equipment is small and easily portable.
- Improves Overall Quality of Life – Research has revealed a number of times how sleep has affected so many parts of life. A good night’s sleep not only allows to stay focussed with more energy, but it also helps us to make healthier choices in regards to how much we exercise and what we eat. Nutrition, sleep and exercise are all significant factors for living a healthy life. A lack of sleep involves a lot of risks including day time fatigue, stroke, heart ailment and memory loss. The oral appliance for sleep apnea can help to avoid such consequences by enabling you to sleep well at night.
The above are some of the ways in which oral appliance can help to treat sleep disorder and assist you in sleeping well at night so that you can lead a rejuvenated and healthy life.