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The Pros and Cons of Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea

The Pros and Cons of Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea

15th Jul 2022

Sleep Apnea Caused by Breathing Interruptions

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep condition in which a person's airway becomes physically blocked, causing them to stop repeatedly breathing during the night. Snorts, gasps, or even choking noises may be heard when the body struggles to restart breathing after these brief interruptions.

The muscles in your body relax as you sleep, allowing them to begin the healing process that will keep you healthy and active throughout the day. Certain persons whose muscles in their mouths and throats relax to such an extent that they fall back into their upper airways and obstruct oxygen from entering.

When you stop breathing throughout the night, your brain reacts by partly waking to signal the respiratory system to work harder to clear the blockage.

Side Effects of Sleep Apnea

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Cardiac condition
  • Stroke
  • Increased Risk for Diabetes

During sleep, a kid with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has many pauses and starts in their breathing. Children between the ages of 2 and 6 are the most likely to suffer from OSA, although it may occur at any age.

There are several ways to cure OSA. Several individuals will find relief from sleep apnea by merely using the CPAP machine or taking therapy, oral appliances, or pillows made explicitly for the purpose. Preventing OSA by using dentofacial orthopedics is an additional therapy option. They can increase the airway space by 10 millimeters or more by creating a facial profile that is as close to perfect as possible. Early intervention may help your kid achieve their optimum sleep potential by eliminating breathing, swallowing or sleeping issues, and it can be begun as early as two years old.

Mandibular Repositioning device and Tongue Retaining device are two more dental therapies. Open your airway by moving your lower jaw forward when sleeping with these gadgets. They are acrylic and fit snugly in your mouth, like a mouthguard for an athlete. Several fit around your head and chin to help you alter your lower jaw's posture.

Only mild to severe sleep apnea may benefit from dental appliances. Various potentially harmful adverse effects may arise from utilising dental devices, such as discomfort, saliva buildup and nausea, as well as damage to the jaw, teeth, and mouth.

You must see a dentist who specialises in sleep apnea devices for proper fitting. Visit your dentist regularly for any dental issues, and speak with your sleep expert to determine whether you are a good candidate for OSA.

Sleep apnea may cause excessive daytime drowsiness since your brain needs to "wake up" to tell your body to keep breathing each time it has to "wake up" to tell your body to keep breathing. When you're exhausted all the time, it's easy to go into a state of despair, which may lead to poor job or school performance, memory loss, and other cognitive issues.

A sleep study is necessary before any treatment choices can be considered since it may significantly impact the suggested therapy.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, which provide a constant stream of pressured air via a mask to the respiratory system, are the most often used treatment. Most sleep doctors suggest CPAP therapy as a first-line treatment option for individuals with moderate to severe sleep apnea. You can buy a CPAP machine online.

As a general rule, dental appliances treat mild to severe cases of sleep apnoea. A CPAP machine may be combined with a dental device to reduce the requirement for high-pressure ventilation.

What is the function of dental appliances?

Devices for the mouth may be divided into two broad categories:

Advancement devices for the mandible (MADs)

Mouthpieces That Keep Your Tongue in Place

They appear like sports mouthguards or orthodontic retainers, but they're used to cure sleep apnea instead. Both the top and lower dental arches snap over them, and metal hinges join the two halves so they may be worn together in the mouth.

They function by forcing the mouth forward, enabling you to breathe normally while you're asleep. Adjustable MADs would allow dentists to fine-tune jaw positioning for optimal efficiency.

Unlike the MAD, tongue retaining mouthpieces include a tiny chamber that wraps around the language and uses suction to maintain it in place, preventing it from collapsing back into the airway. These devices are often employed in patients who cannot have their jaw properly moved forward.

Advantages of Dental Equipment

  • Many patients prefer dental devices over CPAP masks because they are more comfortable and easy to use.
  • Dry, itchy noses are a common complaint among those using CPAP machines. This isn't an issue with oral gadgets.
  • For patients who are active movers while sleeping, there is less equipment to become tangled in or knocked off during sleep.
  • Because less gear is required, taking it with you when you travel is much more convenient.

Dentistry has certain drawbacks.

  • A nagging ache or stiffness in the jaw
  • Teeth and gums that are inflamed
  • Inappropriate salivation or even a lack of salivation
  • If the bite is permanently altered, there is a risk of an irreversible jaw injury.
  • Dislodgement of dental prostheses (crowns, bridges, etc.)

Who is eligible for dental appliance use?

  • Patients who suffer from mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea may benefit from the following treatments (not recommended for moderate to severe sleep apnea)
  • Patients who snore as a result of underlying medical conditions (in the absence of sleep apnea)
  • Patients who have attempted CPAP treatment and failed may be eligible.
  • Failure or refusal of procedures like a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy or tracheostomies on patients.
  • The CPAP device assists decrease the patient's apnoea/hypopnea index for a more acceptable air pressure setting.

A sleep specialist or your primary care physician may help you determine whether or not you have sleep apnea by setting up an appointment at your local sleep clinic. Be sure to enquire about the various treatment choices, including CPAP supplies in Australia from our shop and dental devices, and see which is most suited for you.