Dr. Martz: “Sleep Apnea can be a very serious condition with very dangerous consequences. It is usually under diagnosed and needs to be diagnosed very carefully. Depending on its severity, the treatment can vary. The most effective treatment is CPAP, however if the choice is nothing or an oral appliance; I definitely recommend a professionally made adjustable appliance like Somnomed.”
How to Treat Sleep Apnea
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the most recommended treatment for patients with OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), however some patients not all patients are able to remain compliant due to reasons like claustrophobia, skin irritations with masks, and other reasons.
For patients like these, an alternative treatment depending on the severity of the OSA can be oral dental appliances.
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Side effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Increase risk of diabetes
- And even death.
Dental appliances are most effective for patients with mild or moderate OSA. These are patients who experience 5-30 interruptions in breathing per hour. Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical disorder that affects around 10% of American men over the age of 40, and 6% of American women of the same age.
Sleep apnea sufferers completely stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night. Normal breathing ceases because the airway becomes obstructed, causing a serious reduction of airflow to the lungs.
There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws and push them forward slightly. This slight repositioning opens up the airway and allows oxygen to flow freely again. Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep. Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight. They offer a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).