Approximately 18 million Americans suffer with sleep apnea, a dangerous disorder that causes disruptive breathing patterns during sleep. Unfortunately, many people with sleep apnea do not seek treatment, whether by choice or because they are unaware of the condition.
Some of the tell-tale signs of the sleep apnea include chronic snoring and intermittent breathing cessation followed by ‘gasps’ for air during sleep. Sleep apnea not only affects quality of sleep, but it can also disturb a partner’s sleep. In severe cases, it can lead to secondary health conditions and can even prove fatal.
There are two types of apnea, the most common of which is obstructive sleep apnea. This is a condition in which the back of the throat collapses during sleep, depressing the airway. Physicians often treat this condition using a CPAP machine that forces positive pressure into the airway and facilitates better breathing during sleep. However, many people find difficulty adapting to a CPAP machine and wearing a mask to bed at night. Fortunately, the use of oral sleep devices can be an effective apnea treatment for many patients, even replacing the need for a CPAP machine in some individuals.
Jacksonville, Florida Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Here at Lane Avenue Family Dentistry, we treat many patients with obstructive sleep apnea using oral sleep appliances. Oral appliance therapy is typically used for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. These devices fit comfortably like a retainer or mouth guard, preventing the tongue from moving to the back of the throat during sleep. When worn correctly, a dental apnea device can keep the airway open and facilitate effortless breathing at night.
The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliance therapy in combination with a nasal CPAP machine or for patients who are intolerant to or otherwise refuse use of a nasal CPAP. In some cases, the patients we treat here at Lane Avenue Family Dentistry are able to stop using a CPAP machine altogether when dental appliances provide adequate treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or have symptoms of the condition, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our office for a consultation. We can help determine if appliance therapy is right for you and fit you for an oral device if you are a candidate for treatment.