How an Oral Appliance helps with Sleep Apnea?

For those that suffer from sleep apnea, there are a few options. While there are some that don’t want to get an expensive surgery that makes teeth whitening look like nothing, there are some other means to help with sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a serious condition, and if left untreated, it could cause some major problems in your sleeping habits. That’s why sleep apnea should be treated, and it’s why an oral appliance should be considered if you need one.

An oral appliance is very similar to a retainer.  Essentially, it will keep your jaw and tongue in a fixed position so they don’t block your airway, even when you’re relaxed in a deep sleep.  for example, you might have a doorway that wants to slam shut.  In some cases, you could widen the doorway, keep it propped open by pushing air through a fan in front of it, or prop it open with a doorstep.  Obviously you’ll choose the third option and that’s kind of how this whole thing works.  You’ll simply prop your mouth open so that you can keep air going.

The device works in a simple way.  It clamps to the upper and lower teeth, similar to what you use in teeth whitening, or even a retainer.  The upper and lower parts are connected by a piston and a tube which will set the jaw retrude so far.  As the muscles begin to relax in your deeper sleep, the tubes will then bottom out and your chin will still be kept forward so that the tongue can’t block the airway.  Essentially, this will keep the airway open, allow you to breathe during a cycle of deep sleep even when your muscles are totally relaxed.

This can also treat bruxism, which is essentially teeth grinding.  Grinding is sometimes instinctual by the body if you’re not breathing at night.  the back and forth moving tends to reopen a collapsed airway.  Even though grinding can save us and keep us breathing, there is a cost to it.  it will slowly destroy your teeth, but if you’re grinding, you’ll be out of a deep sleep since you’re not breathing, which will cause you to not be as great-feeling the next day, and it can even cause brain fog and chronic fatigue.  The best way to treat the cause of this is to take away the body’s need to grind the teeth that are there.

There are many patients that have been treated with this that have stopped grinding and clenching.  They might have had a lot of the TMJ symptoms as well, because they tend to grind when they’re stressed.  It was also contributing to a small airway.

If you do however, have a problem with grinding teeth, you can also get a night guard to help with this.  You shouldn’t however make night guards the first step before you rule out sleep apnea, since it’ll treat the symptom and not the actual cause if you do have sleep apnea.  A night guard can help however if you do grind your mouth when you’re sleeping, thereby ruining the quality of sleep.

Now one thing that you should know is that this is for moderate to mile sleep apnea cases only. If it’s severe, you should definitely get something stronger, since this will not be enough support for the compromised airway. If you do have severe sleep apnea though, there is still hope, because there are some that also need the APAP machine, which will then help open the airway with less resistance. You can use the APAP machine with the mouth appliance if necessary, and it can be used together.

You also might feel your need to grind and clench begin to lessen too, since sleeping with it can get rid of the symptoms.

If you do suffer from sleep apneas of a mild to moderate cause, consider maybe getting one of these mouth appliances to help you.  they are very effective, a bit cheaper than surgery, and they’re great if you do feel like you need a bit of help with treating this condition, and it is there too as well.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s