After being diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, you may be reviewing available treatment options. While using a BiPAP or CPAP machine is an option, you may be wondering if there is a more comfortable, less obtrusive way to help you sleep at night.
If so, you should make an appointment with a dentist who offers treatment for the condition. There are a couple of types of oral appliances that they can custom make for you that can help remove the obstruction causing the apnea and help you sleep better through the night.
1. Mouth Guard Pulls the Lower Jaw Forward to Keep Your Airway Open
One type of custom-made oral appliance that the dentist may fit you for after evaluating the cause of your obstruction is a mouth guard. This appliance is useful if they find that your lower jaw slips back toward your throat where it partially blocks your airway.
When you wear a mouth guard, the apparatus pulls your lower jaw toward the front of your face to keep it in alignment with your upper mouth. Once in alignment, the lower jaw will no longer fall back, which will help to keep your airway open while you sleep.
2. Tongue Retainer Keeps the Tongue in Place and Prevents It from Blocking Your Airway
Another type of appliance the dentist may prescribe for you is a tongue retainer. This type of appliance is useful if the dental professional finds that your tongue shifts to the back of your throat where it blocks your airway. If you find that you sleep on your back, this type of obstruction may be what is causing your apnea.
When you wear the appliance, the center apparatus will hold your tongue in place so that it does not shift while you are laying on your back. Because the basic form of the retainer is much like the mouth guard, if the dentist finds that you have problems with your tongue and lower jaw, it can be custom designed to deal with both issues.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, being fitted with an oral appliance may help to alleviate your problems breathing. Each device works in a different manner to keep your airway cleared, whether by pulling the jaw forward with a mouth guard or keeping the tongue in place with a retainer. A dentist who offers sleep apnea treatment in your area will need to examine you to find the cause of the obstruction so they can have the appropriate custom-made appliance made for you.
For more information, contact a local clinic like Comprehensive Dental Care.Share