Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes people to stop breathing briefly while sleeping. The breath stoppage triggers partial arousal from sleep and reduces sleep quality. If you or your partner have been diagnosed with the condition, it is reasonable to have questions. Learning about the condition and the treatment options will help you handle…
Ask a Dentist: CPAP or Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea?
People that suffer from sleep apnea may not always think to talk to their dentist, but it can actually be very beneficial to do so, as dentists are trained in treating sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is something that can be treated by a variety of things, but two of the most common are CPAP devices and oral appliances.
While both CPAP devices and oral appliances are used every day for treating sleep apnea, it can be especially helpful to talk with a dentist about which one would be more beneficial. Because each person is different, it’s up to the dentist to determine whether or not a CPAP device or oral appliance is best. Find out more in this article as we outline both.
Before understanding both CPAP devices and oral appliances, it is important to understand what they are used for: sleep apnea. This disruptive sleep disorder occurs when a person’s breathing stops repeatedly throughout the night when they are sleeping. It can be very dangerous because the body has to work overtime in order to receive oxygen.
According to a dentist
Dentists are great health professionals to consult with about sleep apnea. They can provide thorough exams in order to determine the best method of treatment. However, because everyone’s sleep apnea is unique, they may have a different recommendation for each person who is suffering from it.
Dentists often recommend CPAP devices for sleep apnea treatment because they are providing air down a person’s throat. This air is constantly being pressurized to ensure that the airways stay open and intact.
CPAP devices are said to be the most effective, and dentists typically attempt this method of treatment first, as it is relatively simple. A CPAP device consists of a motorized device that has a large tube connected to a mask. The mask is worn at night, and it fits right over the nose or nose and mouth to produce air.
However, just like with any other method of treatment, there are also a few downfalls. People have reported a feeling of confinement while also experiencing severe dry mouth and sinus issues. The constant pressurized air can upset people’s sinuses, resulting in inflammation or dryness.
Tongue retaining devices and mandibular advancement devices are commonly recommended by a dentist when a person can’t handle a CPAP device. These are similar in shape and size to a mouthguard or oral retainer. A tongue retaining device is used to hold the tongue in place so that the airway remains open, thus preventing breathing interruptions. MADs allow the lower jaw to remain in a forward position so that the airway stays open.
Talk to a dentist today
Oral appliances and CPAP devices are both used to help people who are suffering from sleep apnea. This dangerous disorder can manifest into bigger health problems if it is not treated. Dentists are one of the best professionals to talk to about sleep apnea.
If you have questions, then reach out to our office so that we can help you further. Let our trained professionals provide you with an exam to determine whether a CPAP device or oral appliance is right for you. Call us today!
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