ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY
We’ve all been there. Some mornings, you just wake up more exhausted than before you went to bed. But if you find yourself feeling like this every morning, and have difficulty concentrating, along with nodding off while at school or work, you may be experiencing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a trained sleep specialist. But if you have been diagnosed, we at National Dental Douglaston can help you treat the condition with oral appliance therapy.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects how you breathe while you sleep. The condition causes what is known as apneic events. An apneic event is one in which you stop breathing for a few seconds. In some cases, you may stop breathing for up to 90 seconds! You can experience these events more than 30 times in a single night. Every time you stop breathing, you wake up, whether or not you realize it. This disrupts your normal sleep patterns, which is what causes you to be so tired the next morning.
Sleep apnea can be caused by a tissue blockage (excess tissue in your throat, your tongue), a miscommunication between your brain and your breathing muscles, or a combination of both. Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Waking up exhausted
- Being excessively sleepy during the day
- Trouble staying away
- Difficulty focusing
- Health issues such as high blood pressure and other heart conditions
HOW IS SLEEP APNEA DIAGNOSED?
Sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a trained sleep professional. At National Dental, we work with a vast network of sleep experts. They can diagnose your sleep issues and help you to properly manage them.
ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY
The C-PAP machine is a common solution to sleep apnea. However, it is not for everyone. They may not be able to use it, or they simply do not want to be bothered with it. National Dental offers an alternative – oral appliance therapy.
While you sleep, all of the muscles in your body, including those in your mouth, relax. As a result, your tongue, or other tissues, can easily slide into the entrance of your throat, blocking airflow. The use of oral appliance therapy is designed for patients who are experiencing mild to moderate sleep apnea. The treatment involves the use of an oral device that is placed over your top teeth. It works by holding your jaw in proper alignment, preventing it from sliding backward. As a result, your oral tissues stay put, and your airway stays clear.
GETTING YOUR CUSTOM APPLIANCE
At National Dental, we provide you with a custom-fit oral appliance. We take a 3-dimensional image of your mouth. This image allows us to create a device that will fit the exact specifications of your mouth. It is possible to go to your local drugstore and pick up an oral device there, but without the custom fit we provide, you won’t get the same results. You also risk causing more serious complications. Our FDA-approved oral devices ensure that your jaw stays in alignment so you can get the sleep you need.
Poor sleep can have serious consequences on your mental, emotional and physical health. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, contact National Dental Douglaston at (718) 557-9882 to find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you.