Oral appliance therapy in Chicago is a common and effective treatment when you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring. This therapy helps you sleep better and restores your alertness and health. Here’s a guide to help you understand why this treatment is effective for OSA.
Common Signals You Could Be Struggling with Sleep Apnea
It’s important to get a diagnosis from your dentist if you suspect you have sleep apnea. Common symptoms to look out for include:
- Loud snoring
If not treated, the sleep disturbance by OSA could lead to other health conditions, such as heart disease, elevated blood pressure, and depression.
Reasons Why an Oral Appliance is an Effective Treatment for OSA
An oral appliance for sleep apnea fits like an orthodontic retainer or sports mouth guard, but you only wear it at night. It helps to support your jaw and keep it in a forward position which opens your upper airway and helps you breathe better. Other top reasons include:
1. Non-Invasive Snoring Treatment.
Using an oral appliance doesn’t require surgery, making the sleep apnea device a non-invasive treatment.
2. Effective Alternative to CPAP.
Patients using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) often complain of discomfort wearing the mask, not being able to tolerate air pressure, and claustrophobia while wearing the mask. Some patients simply refuse to continue CPAP therapy.
3. Use with CPAP.
Patients who have severe OSA need high-pressure settings with their CPAP therapy. As mentioned, some can’t tolerate the air pressure. However, combining their CPAP treatment with an oral appliance, patients can use a lower, more tolerable air pressure setting. This is because the appliance helps manage their OSA symptoms enough so they don’t require higher air pressure.
4. Convenient and Easy to Wear.
You only have to wear the appliance when you sleep. It’s small and barely detectable while wearing it and there’s no bulky equipment that comes with it making it easy to travel with.
If you’re diagnosed with OSA, during your initial dental visit, your Chicago sleep apnea dentist will examine your jaw, tongue, teeth, and airway. He may take an x-ray of your mouth. He’ll explain the benefits of oral appliance therapy for OSA, provide you with some information on how to use it, and tell you about any potential side effects. Your appliance will then be custom-made to fit your mouth comfortably.