Sleep apnea can be a life-threatening disorder. A person with obstructive sleep apnea will stop breathing at various points during sleep, causing their blood-oxygen level to drop. When the brain recognizes the lack of oxygen, the body wakes up enough to start breathing normally again. This can happen hundreds of times per night, and you may wake up feeling unrefreshed. Over time, the constant loss of sleep and oxygen can lead to serious health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and cognitive impairment.
In the past, the most common treatment for sleep apnea was CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP consists of a mask that fits over your nose and mouth that straps on, a tube that connects to the machine’s motor, and a motor that blows the air into the tube and mask. Many patients who initially try CPAP find that they are not able to use it comfortably or inadvertently take it off during sleep.
The Chicago Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea, located at Dental Professionals, offers oral appliance therapy as a convenient alternative for treating mild to moderate sleep apnea. More comfortable than a CPAP machine, Oral Appliance Therapy offers a restful night's sleep to patients suffering from snoring and/or sleep apnea.
Our professionals will create a completely customized nightguard to fit your mouth and eliminate breathing obstruction while you sleep. Custom-made oral appliances are proven to be more effective than over-the-counter devices, which are not recommended as either a screening tool or a therapeutic option. Worn at bedtime, similar to a night guard or retainer, it is designed to counter breathing obstruction and allow patients who suffer symptoms of sleep apnea to experience uninterrupted, continuous breathing while sleeping. An oral appliance keeps the soft tissue from collapsing, the primary cause of interrupted breathing patterns. While you sleep, the appliance efficiently works to maintain an open airway, stabilize the tongue and jaw, and prevent any collapse that leads to blockage.
How it Works
At the Chicago Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea, our dentists are specially trained in oral appliance therapy, and will select the device best suited to your individual requirements. In the initial evaluation phase of oral appliance therapy, which can take several weeks or months to complete, a complete examination and evaluation is done to determine the most appropriate oral appliance and it is fit to your mouth for maximum function. Follow-up care is scheduled to assess the treatment of your sleep disorder, the condition of your appliance, your physical response to your appliance, and to ensure that it is comfortable and effective.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy
• Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear.
• Most people find that it only takes a couple of weeks to become used to wearing the appliance.
• Oral appliances are small and convenient, so they are easy to pack and carry when traveling.
• Treatment with oral appliances is reversible and non-invasive.
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Oral appliance therapy also treats the symptoms of snoring. Patients who are tired of losing sleep from snoring are candidates for these customized and easy-to-use mouthguards.
If you are interested in oral appliance therapy to treat your snoring or as an alternative to CPAP for sleep apnea, click here to contact us.