Oral appliance therapy could prevent serious health complications.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that not only keeps you up at night, but can also be dangerous to your health. Brought on by the inability to breathe when you sleep, sleep apnea can lead to a multitude of health problems including death. Unfortunately, some people who suffer from the problem aren’t even aware that they have sleep apnea.
If you live alone and rarely share a bed, you may not be aware that you are choking. You may wake up several times a night gasping for breath, but unless those episodes are witnessed by another person sleep apnea may go undiagnosed as people with sleep apnea rarely remember the episodes.
According to Dr. Jack Ringer, a preferred oral appliance provider of sleep apnea devices, sleep apnea happens when your passageways become restricted. Once this occurs, the person with sleep apnea won’t be able to breathe. This will alert your brain to wake you up so that you can breathe again. People with severe sleep apnea could wake up thirty times an hour gasping for air.
If you are feeling tired during the day or have a hard time staying awake at work or behind the wheel, it’s important that you see your primary care physician who can refer you to a sleep specialist. There are tests that you can do at home or at a sleep study center that will determine if your snoring and gasping is a result of sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to keep your passageways open. If left untreated, sleep apnea could put your life at risk.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy
In the past a CPAP machine, which has been around for over thirty years, was the only treatment that was recommended by sleep specialists. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy is considered the top of the list when it comes to treating sleep therapy. However, times have changed and because of comfort and convenience, patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea are turning to other forms of treatment including oral appliance therapy.
How Does a CPAP Machine Work?
A CPAP works by delivering pressurized air through a delivery system using a mask. The small box with a motorized fan draws in air before pressurizing it. The machine also has a filter to eliminate air impurities such as smoke or dust. Water is also warmed to humidify the air before being delivered as moist air helps soothe the upper airways and nasal passages. The water also helps prevent discomfort and swelling, which can sometimes be an issue with a CPAP machine. Attached to the machine is a hose that connects the mask to the box. The six foot long hose, allows for full movement while sleeping.
Unfortunately, a CPAP machine often gets left unused. Patients with sleep apnea find the machine cumbersome and uncomfortable. Over 50 percent of people who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea do not use their CPAP machines.
With the advent of modern dentistry, you don’t have to resort to a CPAP machine. Dr. Ringer is a preferred provider of oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea and after examination can determine what therapy device is best for your needs.
Oral Appliance Therapy
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?
Worn while you sleep, the appliance moves your jaw into a more forward position. An oral appliance device fits like a mouth protector or retainer supporting your jaw to keep your upper airways open. Research has shown that oral appliance therapy is very effective for sleep apnea treatment. Better sleep has been reported with patients more apt to use the device.
Snoring can also be helped with oral appliance therapy, and although snoring doesn’t always go hand in hand with sleep apnea, it could be a sign that you are suffering from the disorder. Keep in mind people who are heavy drinkers or smokers may suffer from temporary episodes of sleep apnea. If this is something you are experiencing, try and cut down your drinking and smoking.
If you are tired or cranky during the day, suffer from insomnia or have trouble staying awake while you work or when you are behind the wheel, schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist.
If you are diagnosed, ask your sleep specialist about oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea. Dr. Ringer can design a custom-made sleep plan that won’t keep you up at night.
Call or click for a no obligation oral appliance therapy consultation today.