Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is caused by a blocked airway that repeatedly stops breathing during sleep. This condition can lead to a host of sleep-related issues such as loud snoring, fatigue, headaches, and insomnia. Fortunately, oral appliances have emerged as a practical and comfortable treatment for sleep apnea. In this blog, we will explore how oral appliances are helping individuals with sleep apnea find the much-needed rest they deserve.
What are oral appliances, and how do they work?
Oral appliances, also known as mandibular advancement devices (MADs), are custom-fitted devices that fit inside your mouth. These devices work by holding your jaw in a forward position, which keeps your airway open and prevents the occurrence of sleep apnea. They are designed to be comfortable and easy to wear, making them a popular alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines. Sleep doctors like those at the Sydney Sleep Centre can help determine the best type of oral appliance for your specific needs.
Types of oral appliances available
There are various types of oral appliances available in the market today. The most common types include tongue retaining devices (TRDs) and mandibular advancement devices (MADs). Both types work by holding your tongue or jaw in a forward position, which keeps your airway open and improves breathing during sleep. It is important to select an oral appliance that is recommended by your doctor to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Advantages of using oral appliances over CPAP machines
While CPAP machines are the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment, they often come with side effects such as skin irritation, nasal congestion, and dry mouth. Oral appliances, on the other hand, are comfortable and easy to use. They do not require any electricity or cumbersome equipment and can be used anywhere. Furthermore, their discreet designs allow for easy travel without drawing too much attention.
Effectiveness of oral appliances
Oral appliances have shown to be effective in treating mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. They have also been found to be effective for individuals who cannot tolerate CPAP machines due to various side effects. Oral appliances work by improving the flow of oxygen and reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems associated with sleep apnea.
Getting started with oral appliance therapy
If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it is essential to schedule a consultation with your doctor. They will recommend the most appropriate treatment option based on your specific needs. If oral appliance therapy is recommended, your dentist or sleep specialist will take impressions of your mouth to create a custom-fitted device. You will then be taught how to use and maintain your oral appliance correctly. Follow-up appointments may also be scheduled to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.
Oral appliances have emerged as a practical and comfortable option for treating sleep apnea. They are customizable and easy to use without the side effects commonly associated with CPAP machines. If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea and are seeking a non-invasive solution, oral appliance therapy may be the answer. Consult with your doctor to see if it is the right choice for you. With oral appliances, you can finally find the restful sleep you deserve!