Spring Texas Residents ask what is Sleep Apnea - Vita Dental Spring
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Spring Texas Residents ask what is Sleep Apnea

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Spring Texas Residents ask what is Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder symbolised by breathing in pauses or moments of shallow breathing during sleep. Pausing may last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and there may be loud snoring, choking or snorting sound as breathing continues.

These pauses happen because, either the tongue is too large or the muscles at the back of the throat are loose, thus causing airway obstructions.

There are two forms of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive (OSA) which may be caused by allergies, obesity, a family history of the condition,  enlarged tonsils or a small airway that interrupts breathing.
  • Central (CSA) occurs when there is a lack of effort to breathe.

Vita Dental Spring elaborates more on this disorder, and how its linked to your oral health. 

The Role of Dentistry in Sleep Apnea

Sleep disorders are becoming more significant, especially in treating patients with simple snoring and mild to moderate OSA.

Dental professionals at Vita Dental Spring have the opportunity to assist patients at various levels, starting with the detecting of a sleep-related disorder, referring patients to a physician for evaluation, and assisting in the management of sleep disorders.

Signs of Apnea

  • Bruxism. Tooth grinding causes the tooth to break and wear out. Dentists look for eroded tooth surfaces, to confirm if the patient grinds his or her teeth.
  • A spike in cavities damages the teeth, making them vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria.
  • A small jaw, tongue with scalloped edges, or redness in the throat

Treating Apnea

Less invasive procedures to treat sleep disorders are preferable to the more invasive options.

  • By using oral appliances for patients with mild to moderate OSA. The devices are useful in patients with a lower frequency of apnea or a lesser degree of oxygen saturation
  • Surgery and Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for patients with moderate to severe OSA.
  • Jaw Advancing Device (JAD) also known as mandibular advancement device or splint (MAD, MAS). These devices are custom made by dentists using a plastic-like mould to form the impression of patients teeth and mouth.

Are you struggling with snoring and sleeplessness? Call your dentist at Vita Dental Spring. Snoring and sleep disorders are often signs of obstructive sleep apnea, and your oral health could be the cause.

How Does the Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance Work?

Sleep apnea oral appliances/mouthguards work by moving the jaw forward, to increase the size of the upper airway, and as a result, reduce the air resistance that leads to sleep apnea and snoring.

How to Get the Oral Appliance and Dental Device

The first step towards getting treatment for apnea is to consult your doctor. He/she will determine whether you are a candidate for a particular sleep problem.

Afterwards, the doctor will refer you to a dentist who specializes in the treatment of sleep disorder breathing. Vita Dental Spring dentists will usually take an impression of the teeth bite (bite registration) that will be used to design your oral appliance.

Although several businesses sell oral appliances on the internet, it is essential that your dentist approves of the device, as many of the readily available -boil and bite mouthpieces do not produce the desired results.

How Much Do Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances Cost?

Oral Appliance Therapy has become a standard treatment for sleep disorders, breathing, and snoring, and has increased the demand. The cost depends on the type of the mouthpiece required.

The average price for a sleep apnea mouth guard ranges from $1800 – $2000. The price includes the mouthpiece and adjustments made to the dental device, Visit us at Vita Dental Spring, for checkups and to have your mouth guard custom made. The good news also is that most health insurance companies cover this treatment.

Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea

The advantages of using the dental device for sleep apnea include:

• The device is compact and portable- it can fit into a pocket

• The mouth guard is discreet and is not visible to bed partner when sleeping

• Most patients have noted improvement on the first night

• The mouthpiece does not use any electricity, so it conserves energy. You don’t need to plug the device into a wall to function.

Consequences of Oral Appliance Therapy

Some of the complications experienced by patients who have used the oral mouthpiece include:

  • Temporal mandibular (TMJ) or joint arthritis or arthralgia (pain).
  • Unusual sensation after removing the device and difficulty in bringing their teeth together in the usual position.
  • Teeth are shifting after extended use. Occasionally orthodontic treatment is required to stabilize the teeth positioning.
  • Patients experience difficulty in monitoring compliance. Most new CPAP machines have monitoring software which shows the number of hours of use and if there are any stubborn respiratory events. Because of their size, the mouth guards are unable to provide the kind of technology that a CPAP device does. However, there are some new mouthpieces made with microchips that can measure the number of hours in use.
  • Oral appliances have a limited life expectancy and are not designed to last forever. Nevertheless, they can only be used for a year or two because the materials tend to weaken and the appliances lose effectiveness.

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