Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder that prevents good rest at night, and leaves people feeling exhausted, not to mention strains on the immune system! To offer treatment, we have a comfortable alternative to the CPAP machine. In today’s blog, your Austin, MN, dentists talk about our custom appliance therapy.
The Causes and Common Symptoms of OSA
With sleep apnea, as you rest the soft tissues in the back of your mouth and in your throat become too relaxed, subsequently collapsing and cutting off airflow. You stop breathing for brief periods until your brain, noticing the drop in oxygen, wakes you up. This interrupts your sleep cycle, even if you don’t remember it, so you feel exhausted the next day even if you assume you rested. This could be caused by a number of factors, such as poor sleep schedule, excess alcohol or caffeine before bed, large neck circumference, obesity, sinus and allergy issues, or problems with the growth and development of your jaw and oral strictures. Warning signs include daytime drowsiness, moodiness, trouble focusing on tasks, dry mouth, headaches, and waking suddenly in the night choking or gasping for air.
If one or more of the symptoms we listed above sound familiar, then contact our team to schedule a consultation. We will examine your smile thoroughly to see if you need treatment for OSA, and if so, we can often provide this treatment with a custom oral appliance instead of a loud and cumbersome CPAP machine. Our team will gather detailed digital images of your smile from multiple angles, and then combine them to create a 3D model of your smile. Using this, we will design and custom-fit an oral appliance that looks and acts like a simple mouthguard. But once in place as you sleep, this repositions the jaw by moving it forward to prevent the collapse of soft tissues in the night. You then rest without interruption and avoid OSA-related symptoms.
Better Sleep Habits
You can also help with a few simple changes to your bedtime routine. In the two hours before bed, avoid caffeine, vigorous exercise, large meals, or excess amounts of alcohol. Maintain a good sleep schedule, which means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. You should keep your bedroom dark and cool, and try to avoid looking at screens as you fall asleep. If you have any questions, then contact our team today.
Do You Have Questions About OSA?
We would like to help our patients enjoy good oral health and a good night’s rest too! To make an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312.