People suffering from sleep apnea experience pauses in breathing during sleep. Treatment for sleep apnea is essential because this common condition can lead to a number of negative health effects. Here's how dental appliances can help treat sleep apnea.
For patients who suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist may suggest trying a dental appliance, or oral appliance, to reduce your sleep apnea symptoms.
These dental appliances fit comfortably over your teeth and hold your tongue and jaw towards the front of your mouth in order to prevent them from blocking your airway.
Dental appliances used to help reduce sleep apnea symptoms are worn when you go to bed at night.
There are two types of dental appliances used to treat obstructive sleep apnea:
- Fixed dental appliances. These appliances are not adjustable.
- Adjustable dental appliances which can be properly fitted, by your dentist, to the size and shape of your mouth.
A variety of dental appliances are available to help treat sleep apnea. Your dentist can help you find the right model for your needs. Your dentist will also fit your dental appliance so that it works properly when you put it in at night.
Comfort is very important when it comes to dental appliances! You will need to wear it every night. It won't work if you aren't wearing it. So be sure to speak to your dentist if your dental appliance is uncomfortable or painful to wear.
That said, in the early days, as you're adjusting to wearing your new dental appliance, you may experience some jaw pain or difficulties chewing. Give it a little time, as you get adjust to wearing it these issues will typically disappear.