Custom Sleep Apnea Appliances
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people of all ages. For many patients who have it, however, the condition isn’t always obvious, and they may go years experiencing lower quality sleep before they realize it. At our office, we can help you determine the likelihood that you have sleep apnea, and help you understand how it may be affecting several other aspects of your oral health and overall wellbeing.
Effects of untreated sleep apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when you airway becomes clogged by oral tissues as you sleep. These tissues can collapse into your airway, gradually closing it up and making it harder to breathe. The result of a partial obstruction is the increasingly louder noise of snoring, which is often a telltale sign of sleep apnea. However, the snoring stops when the airway becomes completely obstructed and you’re no longer able to breathe. As a result, your body is forced to wake and clear the airway, a process that repeats itself hundreds of times every night.
An alternative to CPAP
Patients who are diagnosed with sleep apnea are often given a CPAP mask and machine to alleviate it. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, and it provides a gentle stream of air through the mask to help keep your airway clear while you sleep. However, many patients can benefit more from a custom-designed sleep appliance, which we can design to precisely fit your teeth, jaw, and oral structures. The appliance keeps your airway clear by offering tailored support for your lower jaw, keeping it a comfortable, slightly forward position to prevent oral tissues from collapsing into your airway.