If you take care of your teeth, you're likely used to visiting your dentist's office every six months for a checkup. However, your dentist can do more than simply clean your teeth and fill cavities. Dentists can also help patients treat their sleep apnea through a method called oral appliance therapy.
Oral appliance therapy uses custom-fitted mouthpieces to manipulate the position of a person's tongue and jaw while they sleep. This can keep a person's airway open to treat the cause of obstructive sleep apnea. Here are four advantages of oral appliance therapy in treating sleep apnea:
1. It does not require a power source.
Oral appliance therapy is an easy and cost-effective way to treat sleep apnea. Unlike many alternative treatments, oral appliances can be used without a power supply because they are simple mouthpieces designed to fit over a person's teeth. People who choose this treatment for sleep apnea will never have to worry about unexpected power outages or increasing the cost of their electrical bills.
2. It is molded to fit your mouth.
Oral appliance therapy is comfortable because each oral appliance is custom-made to fit patients. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth, which will be used to create your mandibular advancement device. You'll have the opportunity to try on your MAD in your dentist's office, where it can be further customized for a perfect fit.
3. It may be more comfortable than CPAP therapy.
Continuous positive airway pressure is often used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP machines use a thin stream of air to keep airways open. Unfortunately, not everyone finds it comfortable to use a CPAP machine. This device requires a person to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while they sleep, which can make sleeping in certain positions impossible. If you've tried CPAP therapy and disliked the results, oral appliance therapy may be a viable option for you.
4. It can help you breathe through the night.
Finally, oral appliance therapy is a great idea for patients because it is effective. Sleep apnea can be dangerous when left untreated. Not only can this condition cause a poor night's sleep, but it may also lead to brain damage or even death due to lack of oxygen. Oral appliance therapy will keep your trachea open by increasing the space found in the back of your mouth. This will allow you to keep breathing, avoiding the consequences of oxygen deprivation.
For more information about sleep apnea oral appliances, contact a local professional.