While CPAP machines have long been used to treat sleep apnea, a newer treatment has emerged and is effective with milder forms.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), or obstructive sleep apnea as how some people call it, is caused when air is restricted by the soft tissue in the throat, which in turn causes snoring and irregular breathing patterns while you’re sleeping. If this is left untreated, it can lead to many other health problems, including cardiac issues.
The OSA Infographic states that, currently, there are two primary forms of treatment for sleep apnea: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and dental appliances known formally as Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS). Both of these will improve both your REM sleep while reducing your risk of high blood pressure. Which one will work best for you? That often depends on how serious your sleep apnea has progressed.
Traditionally, CPAP machines are the first type of treatment sleep specialists try for sleep apnea. The machine works by blowing air pressure to open your throat muscles so that your airways remain open and you can breathe normally while you sleep. It can be effective, as it does relieve several other symptoms including daytime sleepiness and headaches, as well as lowering your risk for other health issues like diabetes and heart disease. In addition to being hooked up to the machine, you need to wear a mask–either a full face one or a nasal mask. While this treatment is effect, many people don’t like the inconvenience because you may have difficulty in sleeping because of the noise or staying in one place for fear of the mask falling off.
Recently, a new sleep apnea treatment has evolved, dental appliances, also known as Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS). These devices include two splints worn over your upper and lower teeth, and the device pushes your lower jaw forward closer to your upper jaw, generally around 8 to 10 mm. Generally, this is enough to open your airway and prevent collapsing soft tissue. Since your Sound Sleeper dentist fits you for your device, he’s able to make sure it fits comfortably and discreetly inside your mouth. This means that not only is it moulded to the shape of your mouth, but it’s small enough that no one will ever notice it. And that’s just the beginning; these dental appliances have so many other benefits:
It’s both safe and effective. Easier to use than CPAP machines, these dental devices relieve snoring and mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea.
- Freedom of movement during sleep cycles. With a CPAP machine, you have to lie in the same position; otherwise the mask may fall off. However, because you wear these small dental appliances, you can sleep in whichever position you feel like.
- Better health. It improves both your REM sleep and your overall cardiovascular health while reducing high blood pressure.
- It’s a pain-free treatment alternative, unlike surgery. It’s not more invasive than getting fitted for a traditional appliance or retainer.
- You can periodically adjust your device with a titration key. This will ensure that it doesn’t break and you don’t have to replace it.
Recent studies have shown that these dental appliances are at least as effective as and sometimes more effective than the traditional CPAP machine. They generally don’t have as many side effects as the traditional methods, making it easier for patients to use and tolerate them.
Instead of only receiving treatment from your sleep specialist, why don’t you make the change and call your Sound Sleeper dentist today to discuss a dental appliance to help you sleep better?