Sleep apnea (AP-ne-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Oral Appliances (OA) be the first treatment option for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. This has created an excellent opportunity for dentists who want to significantly improve the health of their patients who suffer from snoring or sleep apnea. This is a serious health problem that increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, type II diabetes, and GERD.
A dentist can make a custom-fit plastic OA for treating sleep apnea. The OA will adjust your lower jaw and your tongue to help keep your airways open while you sleep. Your doctor also may recommend a OA if you snore loudly but don’t have sleep apnea. If you use a OA, tell your dentist if you have discomfort or pain while using the device. You may need periodic office visits so your dentist can adjust your OA to fit better.