Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Treatment With Oral Appliances

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Treatment With Oral Appliances

OSA or Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and is characterized by what causes the stop or pause on breathing, in this case, a muscle may be blocking the air path. It shows repeated episodes of complete or partial obstructions of the upper airway during sleep, despite the effort to breathe, and is usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation.

When you are diagnosed with OSA there are two most common oral treatments that are primarily suggested for you. One is CPAP and the other is the use of mouth guards.

What is CPAP? CPAP or also known as (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. This CPAP machine sends a constant flow of airway pressure to your throat to ensure that your airway stays open during sleep, effectively treating the spontaneous pauses in breath. A CPAP machine uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady air pressure. 

CPAP machines are small, lightweight, and fairly quiet. If you travel, you should take your CPAP with you. Benefits of CPAP include keeping your airways open while you sleep, easing snoring, improving sleep quality, relieving daytime sleepiness, and lowering blood pressure.

The second is the mouth guard. This is fitted by a dentist or orthodontist, and worn in the mouth. One mouth guard is known as a Mandibular advancement device (MAD). The most widely used mouth device for sleep apnea, MADs look much like a mouth guard used in sports. The devices snap over the upper and lower dental arches and have metal hinges that make it possible for the lower jaw to be eased forward. Some, such as the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP), allows you to control the degree of advancement.

It is best to consult and discuss with your doctor your preferred way of treating your OSA.



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