Although many do not realize it, millions of us suffer from a condition that interrupts our sleep. Apnea, a state in which the breathing is literally suspended, occurs in people from infants to seniors and is a contributory factor to health risks, such as depression, fatigue and heart conditions. The condition is serious and once diagnosed is often addressed with a CPAP machine that forces oxygen down into the person with the apnea. This causes the breathing to continue. Yet, although CPAP machines are often the go-to solution for apnea, there are other possible modes of treatment, including appliance therapy. A mouth appliance, molded to conform to the user’s teeth is then used to tilt the jaw forward. This assists in eliminating snoring and the concurrent event of gaps in breathing. On the plus side, appliances, such as the one noted above, are convenient, less cumbersome to wear, and so apt to be a better long-term solution for some. However, such a device is not suitable for every type of Apnea. Ultimately, a trained practitioner must weigh in as to the proper device for an apnea sufferer.
- 1More than 18 million adults have sleep apnea—a serious condition where breathing is interrupted throughout the night, raising the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and mood problems.
- 2Oral appliance therapy may also help improve symptoms, sleep quality, and overall health.
- 3The device can be a lot more comfortable than a CPAP machine, meaning a person is likelier to stick with it over the long term.
Your doctor will be able to tell you whether oral appliance therapy can help with your sleep apnea and if you’re a good candidate, a dentist can custom fit one to your mouth.