What to Know about Dental Appliance for Sleep Apnea

dental appliance for sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can be treated with various alternatives. The most recommended one is continuous positive airways or better known as CPAP. It is a pressure therapy that is very effective to treat this condition.

However, there are some other options available (apnea surgery). One of them is dental appliance for sleep apnea. Nowadays, this treatment becomes one of the most favorite choices for the sleep apnea patients.

Dental appliance for apnea disorder is available in 2 categories. They are Mandibular Advancement Devices and Tongue Retaining Sleep Mouthpieces.
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Types of Sleep Apnea
Before talking further about dental device for sleep apnea and snoring, let’s understand about sleep apnea itself. This is divided into 2 types based on the conditions:

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    It is a sleep disorder where someone periodically stops breathing throughout the night related to physical obstruction of the airway (apnea test guides). Usually, it lasts about 10 seconds and followed by choking sounds, gasps, or snorts. There are some side effects related to obstructive sleep apnea. They are higher risk of diabetes, stroke, heart attack, heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure or even death.
  2. Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    This a serious condition of sleep disorder where a kid’s breathing stops & starts during the sleep. Usually, it happens to kids at the ages of 2 to 6. However, it is also possible to happen to anyone at any age.

How someone experiences sleep apnea can be determined into 3. It is based on the amounts of apnea event:

  • Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    It occurs in 5 to 14 episodes of interruptions of breathing in one hour.
  • Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    It happens in 15 to 30 episodes of interruptions of breathing in one hour.
  • Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    In this case, sleep apnea occurs in 30 episodes of interruptions of breathing in one hour.

Treating Sleep Apnea with Dental Appliance

Oral appliance for sleep apnea can be a good option that you can choose. However, you need to know that it is divided into 2 major categories based on the dental devices:
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  1. Mandibular Advancement Devices
    These are used to heal sleep apnea. It is similar to sports mouthguards / orthodontic retainers. These devices pushes lower jaw & tongue forward slightly. It helps prevent throat muscles & issues from collapsing back into airways and allow for normal breathing during your sleep. Mostly, these devices are adjustable.

  2. Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces
    Similar to the first one, it has smaller compartment which fits the tongue to keep it forward held. This also prevents it from collapsing back to the airways. These are usually applied to those who are not able to have jaw repositioned forward adequately.

Pros and Cons of Dental Appliance for Sleep Apnea

Dental appliance has pros & cons. In relation to the prose, dental devices are mostly more comfortable, do not cause dry itchy noses, simpler equipment, and easier to bring in travelling.

However, there are also some cons such as loosening dental reactions, excessive salivation, dry mouth, sore teeth, sore gums, jaw pain, etc. So, you have to pay attention to everything related to it before deciding to use dental appliance.