importance of an oral appliance for sleep apnea

Exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep are just a few examples of things that help keep us healthy and happy. Regarding sleep especially, getting a good rest at the end of each day allows us to recharge and for information and memories to solidify in our minds. Interruptions and conditions that impact our ability to sleep, like sleep apnea, can cause both short-term and long-term issues. 

If you’re looking for more information about sleep apnea and a sleep apnea appliance in SW Calgary, get in touch with our dental practice today! 

Sleep Apnea Explained

Sleep apnea is defined by frequent pauses in your breathing while you’re sleeping. There are three primary types of this condition, and they are:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea – This takes place when your throat muscles relax, and your airways become blocked as a result.
  2. Central sleep apnea – This manifests when your brain and the muscles helping you breathe don’t communicate with each other.
  3. Complex sleep apnea – This happens when a person suffers from both obstructive and central sleep apnea. 

Multiple symptoms arise from sleep apnea including, but not limited to: 

  • Feeling groggy and very fatigued, especially in the morning. 
  • High blood pressure. 
  • Depression.
  • Heart disease. 
  • Snoring and grunting while sleeping. 
  • Dry mouth.
  • Headaches. 
  • Irritability. 

If you’re unsure if you have sleep apnea, or you’re interested in learning more about it, get in touch with a dentist near you. Many people don’t realize it, but dental professionals can diagnose and help manage sleep apnea disorders. They possess in-depth knowledge of oral, facial, and head anatomy and understand how these systems interact with one another. 

Sleep Apnea Devices

Modern health progressions and treatments have allowed us to treat a wide array of conditions, such as sleep apnea, safely and reliably. Here at our local dental clinic, we offer customized devices that help you breathe more openly and continuously to those who need it. 

The primary types of sleep apnea devices are mandibular devices, mouth guards, and tongue-retaining appliances. 

Mandibular advancement devices are fabricated from high-grade dental plastic. They’re specifically designed to fit over your upper and lower teeth and push your lower forward. This widens your airway and allows you to breathe better. The hinges and screws on the device can be loosened or tightened if necessary. 

Mouth guardsare meant to protect your teeth, tongue, and lips from external and internal forces. They can also be used to adjust the position of your jaw. Stock and boil-and-bite mouth guards can be purchased from drug stores and pharmacies, or you can visit your dentist in SW Calgary and have them made to satisfy your oral dimensions precisely. 

Finally, tongue-retaining devices fit around your tongue, pulling it forward and holding it in place while you sleep. While this also helps to eliminate blockages in your airway, it can lead to a dry mouth the next morning. 

Always be sure to consult with your dentist before you make a final decision about one device over another. They’ll perform a comprehensive evaluation of your mouth and take a series of x-rays to establish a clear image of your oral health and determine the extent of care you need to get things back to normal. Your dentist will be able to explain each device in detail and suggest the best one for your unique situation. Don’t be afraid to let them know if you have any questions or concerns. 

If you do decide to go forward with such a treatment, your dentist will also make molds of your teeth; these are sent off to the dental lab to create your device. It takes about two to three weeks for it to be ready. 

Are you interested in receiving a sleep apnea appliance near you? At Apple Dental Group, we’ve got you covered! Our staff is ready and willing to assist you with whatever you need. Call or go to our website to get started!