Sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes pauses in breathing during sleep. Those suffering from sleep apnea can experience a number of negative health effects which is why treatment is essential. Here we look at dental appliances to help treat obstructive sleep apnea.
For those patients who suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist may suggest that you use a dental appliance, or oral appliance, to help.
Dental appliances used for treating sleep apnea are worn when you go to sleep. They fit over your teeth and hold your tongue and jaw towards the front of your mouth in order to prevent them from blocking your airway.
Two types of dental appliances for obstructive sleep apnea:
- Fixed dental appliances are not adjustable.
- Adjustable dental appliances can be adjusted by your dentist to properly fit the size and shape of your mouth.
There are a number of dental appliances available to help treat sleep apnea. Your dentist can help you find the right appliance for your needs. Your dentist will also be sure to fit your dental appliance so that it is working properly.
It’s important that your dental appliance be comfortable enough to wear every night. Talk to your dentist if you find your dental appliance uncomfortable or painful to wear. It won't work if you aren't wearing it.
That said, it's important to note that, in the early days, as you're adjusting to wearing the dental appliance you may experience some jaw pain or temporary difficulties chewing. However, as you get used to wearing it these issues will typically disappear.