Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a disorder characterized by short pauses in breathing while sleeping. This condition can be life-threatening if not treated. Sleep Apnea is a disorder that is sometimes difficult to identify. Snoring is one of the most common signs indicating the occurrence of sleep apnea, but snoring does not signal the presence of obstructive sleep apnea all the time. One should look out for the following symptoms:
- Pauses while snoring followed by gasping or choking
- Personality changes or mood swings
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Extreme daytime sleepiness
- Breathing cessation episodes
- Sore throat or dry mouth after waking up
- Attention problems
Oral appliance therapy is a highly effective, non-invasive option for treating obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. A sleep apnea appliance is similar to an orthodontic retainer or a dental mouth guard and needs to be worn while sleeping. The appliance works by helping the airway stay open by supporting the jaw in a forward direction.
Oral appliances are custom made in a dental lab using impressions of your mouth and teeth. Once your oral appliance is ready, we will make any needed adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit for maximum effectiveness and comfort. We will also give you instructions on cleaning and maintaining the appliance. We will examine your oral appliance during follow up visits or during your regular dental exam and ensure that it fits properly.
Oral appliance therapy can reduce mild to moderate occurrences of sleep apnea and is particularly useful for people who sleep on their stomach or back. It is helpful in improving a person’s sleep patterns and in reducing the frequency and loudness of snoring.
If you suspect yourself or someone you know to be suffering from sleep apnea, contact our office at (954) 726-4511 to schedule an appointment.