Oral Appliance Therapy
Sleep apnea is a disorder that is usually characterized by loud snoring and restless sleep. When dealing with sleep apnea, you often will stop breathing during your sleep numerous times throughout the night. People who suffer from sleep apnea are generally extremely tired at all times and are looking for new ways to help with their sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy is designed to help people with obstructive sleep apnea have continuous breathing while they sleep. The main goal of oral appliance therapy is to restore breathing, alertness, improve sleep, and revitalize your health. Here at Smiles of Tulsa we can give you the information you need on oral appliance therapy and do a thorough examination to decide if it is right for you.
What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy involves wearing something in your mouth as you sleep to correct problems such as snoring and sleep apnea. These devices are made and fit very similar to a mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. They hold either the tongue down or the supporting the jaw in a forward position, creating air flow. However, you cannot just go to a store and buy a mouthguard because they do not have the same design.
Oral appliance therapy products must be custom fit to your mouth for them to work effectively. While over the counter products are made for snoring or sleep apnea, they are not recommended and do not work compared to these custom-fit appliances. A CPAP machine is the best choice when trying to live with sleep apnea but can be expensive. These other appliances are typically chosen because they are cheaper and much easier to carry around. This way, when you go on a trip or are staying in a hotel, you can take your oral appliance with you.
Oral Appliance Therapy: Benefits and Side Effects
Treating your sleep apnea and snoring problems can not only help your breathing and sleep patterns, but it can also help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Oral appliance therapy can also help improve your concentration and emotional stability because you are getting a regular amount of sleep each night.
Another benefit of these appliances is the simple design, making them very easy to use. They are easy to wear and can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to get used to, which is much easier than learning to sleep with a CPAP machine. While they can benefit the lives of people living with sleep apnea or extreme snoring, they can cause things such as dry mouth, tooth and jaw pain, and temporary bite changes.
While these things are uncomfortable, the benefits of breathing correctly when sleeping and getting a full night’s rest far outweigh the temporary pain that is associated with getting used to the appliance. Getting a full night’s rest is far more crucial to our health than most people imagine.
Please contact Smiles of Tulsa at (918) 891-3059 to make an appointment for your regular dental exam and cleaning and to learn more about oral appliance therapy.