ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY
Getting enough sleep at night is crucial for giving your body the time it needs to rest and recharge. When you consistently do not sleep well, your mental, physical and emotional states are all greatly affected. Regularly waking up day after day feeling exhausted can take its toll. It is also a sign of a sleep condition known as sleep apnea. At National Dental Hicksville, we can help you to get more sleep with oral appliance therapy.
What is Sleep Apnea?
When you sleep, your body goes through regular cycles. Sleep apnea, however, is a condition that interrupts these cycles, destroying the quality of your sleep. With sleep apnea, you stop breathing for several seconds (sometimes as long as a minute and a half), which causes you to wake up, even if you don’t remember doing so the next morning. These disruptions are known as apneic events. Sleep apnea ranges from mild (5 to 14 apneic events per sleeping hour) to severe (more than 30 apneic events per sleeping hour). There are several different types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when your airway becomes blocked by your tongue or other excess oral tissues.
- Central sleep apnea: This type of sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not communicate properly with the muscles that control breathing.
- Complex (mixed) sleep apnea: Complex sleep apnea is a mixture of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The most obvious symptom of sleep apnea is waking up feeling more tired than when you went to bed, even if you went to sleep at a decent time. There are several other symptoms that accompany sleep apnea as well:
- Feeling tired all day. You may find it difficult to stay awake during regular daily tasks, even while driving a car.
- Difficulty focusing.
- Feeling irritable.
- Having difficulty controlling your emotions.
- High blood pressure.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea needs a professional diagnosis. This is done with a sleep study, by trained sleep professionals. At National Dental, we work with a vast team of sleep experts, all of whom can not only diagnose your sleep issues but can help you manage your treatment as well.
Oral Appliance Therapy
One of the most common treatments for sleep apnea is a C-PAP machine. While this machine can be effective for many patients, there are some who do not respond well to it. There are others still who just do not want to deal with it. For patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, an oral appliance may be able to help.
Oral appliance therapy involves the use of an oral appliance, which looks very similar to a regular mouth guard. It sits over your top teeth, holding your jaw in proper alignment while you sleep. By holding your jaw in place, it prevents your tongue and other tissues from sliding back and blocking the airway, allowing you to breathe throughout the night.
At National Dental, we can provide you with a custom fit oral appliance. While you can run to your local pharmacy to pick up a mouth guard there, these mouth guards often cause more issues than they solve. A custom fit oral appliance, which is created using 3-dimensional imaging of your mouth, ensures the best results possible, helping you to get the sleep you need.
If you are waking up day after day, feeling more tired than when you went to sleep the night before, getting evaluated for sleep apnea is important. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, contact National Dental Hicksville today at (516) 629-5086 to find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you.