It also helps by increasing muscle tone in the upper airway and “pulls” the tongue forward a bit, which reduces the risk of obstruction. The sleep oral appliance is similar to a sports mouthguard and fits over the top row of teeth. If we go deeper, Apneas are periods during sleep when breathing stops or becomes very shallow for at least 10 seconds. These pauses can be extraordinarily disruptive and may reduce the amount of oxygen your blood receives. People with obstructive sleep apnea usually have one or more breaks per hour. Snoring is very common in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. It is estimated that 4% to 5% of middle-aged and older people have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.
Even though obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is very common and treatable, it is often misdiagnosed and under-treated. If untreated, OSA has been associated with serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression. The continuous positive airway pressure device, or a CPAP machine, is the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea. But not all patients are good candidates for this therapy. Therefore our dentist here at Keels Family & Cosmetic Dentistry may recommend the use of a sleep oral appliance to treat OSA instead of or in conjunction with other therapies. A Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance works by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue to ensure the upper airway stays open during sleep. With Sleep Apnea after a person falls asleep, muscles controlling the tongue and throat relax and can collapse, pinching off a person’s airway. This makes breathing more difficult or even impossible until one wakes up to move their body or remove their tongue from the back of their throat. The result can be loud snoring, gasps for air, and even severe daytime fatigue. Here at Keels Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we ensure that the people in Duncan, SC, will not worry when they have sleep apnea. If the patient is experiencing OSA, we will help them with a Sleep Oral Appliance. This appliance has been proven very effective in treating sleep apnea and snoring.