Just like sleep apnea itself, dental sleep apnea appliance that use to treat the disorder are often taken too lightly. It will help to remember that if left untreated sleep apnea can be fatal. The disease is known to cause over 1200 deaths in America each year. What makes the situation worse is the fact that over 85% of the time a person suffering from sleep apnea is completely unaware of the problem.
This condition can be caused by either a breathing obstruction or due to a disorder of the central nervous system. While the former is more common, both are equally dangerous. The good news however, is the problem can be treated successfully and dental devices are one of the most effective ways of treatment.
Simply put, these dental devices are very much like the ones used often as dental guards. These devices are mainly acrylic and need to be fitted by an orthodontist. Resembling mouth guards that are commonly used in boxing, the main purpose of these contraptions is to keep your air passageway open to allow oxygen into your lungs while you sleep.
Types of dental sleep apnea appliance
There are two major types of dental devices that can be used when one is suffering from sleep apnea. As the name suggests the Mandibular repositioning device works by shifting the lower jaw. The contraption looks a lot like an athletic mouth guard and forces the lower jaw forward and presses it slightly downwards. The extra room created helps to ensure that the patient’s air way remains open and free. The other one is a Tongue Retaining Device, which is basically a contraption designed to hold the tongue in place while the patient sleeps, so as to prevent it from collapsing and blocking the airway.
You can use these dental sleep apnea appliance because you are tired of not sleeping. Even if it does not kill you, this condition will disrupt your sleep, leave you feeling fatigued all day and leading to weight gain, apart from causing snoring and nasal discomfort. These simple dental sleep apnea appliance help to combat all these effects of sleep apnea, without bothering with surgery or the complicated CPAP (Continues Positive Airway Pressure) devices.
While these devices are known to work well with most patients, they can lead to some discomfort too. Saliva build up, nausea and even soreness in the mouth are quite common in the initial stages of using these devices. However, over time these issues tend to subside tremendously. Permanent jaw displacement is a concern with usage of these devices, but if one gets them fitted by a good orthodontist, the problem is less likely to occur.
It is critical that you diagnose and correct as soon as possible, since the lack of oxygen it causes can have serious as well as fatal effects. Dental sleep apnea appliance help in the correction of the disease and thus prove to be life savers for those who are afflicted with the problem.