When we sleep, our throat, mouth and jaw muscles relax naturally. But for people with obstructive sleep apnea, muscles become so loose; they tend to collapse and block the airway. When this happens, the obstruction makes it hard to breathe. The lack of oxygen causes sleep apnea sufferers to awaken repeatedly throughout the night. This can occur hundreds of times making it impossible to achieve a restful night’s sleep.
It is common for patients with severe sleep apnea to be prescribed with a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure). Compressed air is delivered through a plastic tube connected to a face mask, nasal pillow or a nose mask. The stream of pressure helps keep the airway open to maintain normal breathing. While CPAP is the standard sleep apnea treatment, about 40 percent of sufferers follow through with wearing the masks. CPAP can be problematic for the following reasons:
Modern dental technology has made it possible to treat sleep apnea with custom oral appliance therapy. OAT helps the jaw move forward during sleep, keeping the airway open for freer breathing.
Less severe cases that do not require surgery or CPAP, it is possible to get the rest you need with a custom fit sleep apnea mouth appliance. This type of oral device will open your airway allowing normal breathing overnight. Several options are available to suit the varying needs of different sleep apnea patients. We will work with your sleep physician to come up with the best treatment plan that will result in a full night’s sleep. The conservative approach is always the goal for cases that are not severe.
Ready to put an end to sleep apnea? Contact our office in Cincinnati, OH today to schedule a consultation for sleep apnea treatment.