Sleep apnea, a harmful, often chronic sleep disorder, affects breathing during sleep. It causes the breathing of those afflicted to start and stop during sleep. The symptoms associated with this disorder are snoring, feeling fatigued during the day, and waking up with shortness of breath at night, among others. The disorder obstructs the brain and body from receiving proper amounts of oxygen, and this in turn can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, depression, and poor concentration.
However, with proper treatment, the disorder can be controlled. Personalized oral appliances are a great treatment option. They are worn orally during sleep, and their primary function is to keep the tongue from collapsing and blocking the airway. This makes it much easier for the patient to receive maximal oxygen. Each appliance is personalized and made to fit the patient’s mouth. Its mechanism of action is to reposition the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate, and uvula, stabilizing the tongue and toning its muscles.
These appliances come in two main different forms: tongue retaining appliance and mandibular repositioning appliance. The tongue retaining appliance uses a suction bulb to position the tongue forward, keeping it from blocking the airway during sleep. The mandibular repositioning appliance keeps the lower jaw protruded during sleep, pulling the tongue away from the airway.
Oral appliances are extremely effective in their treatment of sleep apnea. They are also highly advantageous because they are comfortable and easy to wear. They are of small size, making it easy to store and transport them. They are also much more effective than over-the-counter appliances because they are custom-made to fit the anatomy and needs of the patient.
Oral appliances are a great option for sleep apnea treatment, and have helped half of all patients control their disorder, including patients with severe cases. There is another effective way to treat sleep apnea called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), but this method is much more invasive. CPAP creates a lot of noise and requires patients to wear a mask during sleep. Oral appliances are much more comfortable and affordable.