Signs You May Be a Candidate for a Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance

Sleep apnea happens when your breathing stops intermittently while sleeping. This is the result when the blood’s oxygen level drops significantly, and the brain automatically triggers you to wake up and draw breath. Sleep apnea disrupts your sleep throughout the night, and it is evident when you snore or wake up with a headache, drowsiness, or irritation.

It is often treated with continuous airway pressure therapy (CPAP), a pump appliance that delivers pressurized air via a mask to ensure the airway stays open while sleeping. While CPAP is effective, it is not a comfortable option for everyone. The other alternative is to use custom dental appliances that help you remove obstructions while sleeping.

These appliances fall into two categories: Mandibular advancement devices and tongue retaining mouthpieces. In this article, we will focus on signs that you may be a candidate for these dental appliances.

Snoring, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OBA)

In contrast to what many people think, not every snorer has sleep apnea. People often view sleep apnea as the worst case of all sleep disorders. In another light, you deal with benign snoring, which, although it may not pose any threat to health, may disturb the patient’s sleeping partner.

At some point between Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OBA) and snoring lies the Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). The long-term health effects of this condition may not be as serious as those of sleep apnea, but it can cause regular disruptions to the patient’s sleep. Eventually, neglecting UARS may cause OBA.

Managing snoring and breathing issues

Patients who desire to manage their snoring issues — either to treat sleep disruptions or to help their partner — can benefit from using a sleep apnea dental device.

Patients with mild apnea (disrupted breathing) or hypopnea (reduced breathing) are usually candidates for dental devices. Since the Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) is lower in people dealing with mild sleep apnea, the disorder can be controlled using a dental device rather than a CPAP machine. Dental devices are typically cheaper, simpler, and easier to maintain than CPAP devices, making them preferable for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea.

If you are not eligible for CPAP treatment

Some people complain that CPAP makes tolerating air pressure harder and that they experience uneasiness and claustrophobia while wearing the mask. And although many people ought to give time to adjust until the effects of the CPAP usage kicks in, some would rather stop using the device altogether.

For those people, an alternative may be vital, and dental devices may be the most effective choice. Patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea may not be able to lower their AHI to zero as CPAP treatment does, but it will help reduce the numbers.

Use with CPAP machine to reduce pressure levels

If you are already using CPAP, like many other users, you may not be comfortable with the high-pressure settings. Unfortunately, severe sleep apnea patients tend to have high-pressure settings to stop repeated sleep apnea occurrence.

Wearing a dental device while using nasal masks or pillow for CPAP will help minimize the sleep apnea symptoms to the point where reducing the CPAP pressure setting is possible.

The bottom line

Treating your sleep apnea is essential, and a sleep apnea dental appliance may be a great alternative to CPAP treatment for you. Talk to one of our health professionals today to find out more about these appliances and whether you would be a good candidate for one.

Request an appointment here: https://www.lilburnfamilydentistry.com or call Lilburn Family Dentistry at (770) 800-0178 for an appointment in our Lilburn office.

Recent Posts

Dental Check-Up X-rays At Your Dental Appointment

A dental check-up is essential for oral health and wellness. Dentists recommend that people should make semiannual appointments for a dental exam. This should start when a patient first starts getting teeth. At each checkup, a staff member will take X-rays, in addition to a variety of other preventive steps.A patient should not wait to…

Should I Cancel My Dental Checkup If I Have A Cold Sore?

You have a dental checkup around the corner, but you have a problem. You just noticed you have a cold sore, and you are not sure if you should keep or cancel your appointment. It depends on various factors, so get the details to know how to move forward.Those who get cold sores are familiar…

Dentistry For Children: Take Your Child To A Preventive Dentist

Every dental practice understands the essence of preventive care, which is why we recommend taking your child to a preventive dentist. Preventive dentists do not seek to treat regular oral issues, they also want to avert their occurrence. Preventing issues such as cavities from happening means undergoing fewer dental procedures and a lasting natural smile…

A Dentist Explains The Differences Between Dental Inlays And Dental Fillings

A dental inlay might be recommended for tooth decay that is too severe to fix with fillings. Dental fillings are used to fill up the holes created by tooth decay, called cavities. When the damage caused by tooth decay is too severe to rebuild with fillings, a dental inlay might be recommended.An dental inlay provides…


Recent Posts

A Dentist Explains The Differences Between Dental Inlays And Dental Fillings

A Dentist Explains The Differences Between Dental Inlays And Dental Fillings

A dental inlay might be recommended for tooth decay that is too severe to fix with fillings. Dental fillings are used to fill up the holes created by tooth decay, called cavities. When the damage caused by tooth decay is too severe to rebuild with fillings, a dental inlay might be recommended.An dental inlay provides…

How A General Dentist Can Treat A Chipped Tooth

How A General Dentist Can Treat A Chipped Tooth

One of the most common dental emergencies that general dentists like me treat is called chipped tooth (or fractured tooth, or cracked tooth). It happens when someone bites down on something hard, which causes their tooth to crack or chip off at the enamel level.To treat a chipped tooth, your dentist will first remove any…