Sleep apnea can be a serious condition that causes people to stop breathing temporarily during the night as they sleep. There are various ways to treat sleep apnea, and one of them is available from the dentist. Dentists offer mouthguards that can help with snoring and sleep apnea. The nightguards are custom made so that they will give patients a precise fit. There are many people who are unable to use a CPAP mask or who simply choose not to. When wearing a CPAP mask is uncomfortable or too difficult to use, patients can be treated by a dentist who can offer this alternative to wearing a mask. These nightguards can be used for sleep apnea that is mild to moderate.
A nightguard is an oral appliance that is worn at night while sleeping. It works by making the lower jaw move forward slightly to better open the airway throughout the night. Using a nightguard is easy, and it’s made to be as comfortable as possible. Many people find this more comfortable than wearing a mask and choose a nightguard for this reason.
With the airways more open, patients are able to breathe better during sleep. With a nightguard, patients can open their mouths and close them more naturally than is possible when wearing a CPAP mask. This often leads to fewer interruptions to sleep as can often happen with a mask.
Using an oral appliance against sleep apnea has been done for many years and has proven to be effective for many patients. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether a mouthguard could be effective for your sleep apnea. The dentist will fit you for the guard, taking an impression of your mouth so that it will fit well and keep your jaws in the proper position for help with the condition. Because it’s comfortable, many people are able to sleep better than they would with a mask.
Sleep apnea is a common condition that happens when people have interrupted breathing during the night. There may be many causes of sleep apnea, and being overweight can increase your risk of the condition. Some patients have a tongue that is simply too large for their mouth, and this results in the airway being obstructed. It is also possible to have muscles in the throat that are simply too relaxed during the night to allow for easy breathing.
While a patient with sleep apnea is sleeping, they may have paused breathing dozens of times throughout the night. This breathing pause can last for just a few seconds or can be for a minute or more. When the breath is paused, the body will start gasping for air. It is the gasping that wakes up patients. As this continues during the night, sleep is interrupted again and again, resulting in poor sleep. This then means feeling sleepy during the day.
There are many other symptoms that sleep apnea can cause. It often results in bruxism, teeth grinding, which is often the first symptom of the condition. Patients with bruxism often have teeth that are worn, chipped, or broken. There may also be problems with the gums such as inflammation. Tooth grinding can also cause jaw pain as well as cavities. For people who snore, sleep apnea can be a cause, though many people do snore without having sleep apnea.
It’s a good idea to talk to a doctor about the severity of the condition to find out whether a nightguard could help. For many patients, it is a more comfortable way to treat sleep apnea.