Being able to sleep restfully depends on your ability to
breathe easily and without interruption. For countless children and adults
however, sleep apnea prevents them from achieving the full night’s rest they
need to be productive, healthy, and happy. With so many treatment options
available, there are several important factors that go into choosing which
solution works best for you.
What is Sleep Apnea?
For individuals with obstructive sleep apnea, soft tissue at
the back of the throat collapses, preventing air from entering and exiting the
lungs. This causes pauses in breathing and leads to characteristic snoring or
choking sounds. This unconscious act of attempting to restore breathing wakes
patients form deep sleep, which leads to day time fatigue.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Traditionally, CPAP therapy has been considered the gold
standard for treating sleep apnea. However, discomfort wearing the mask leads
many patients to inconsistently use treatment. This does not alleviate the
breathing condition and leaves patients vulnerable to other health
complications associated with sleep apnea. For these individuals, oral
appliances may better encourage compliance and alleviate the causes of sleep
Similar in size and shape to an orthodontic retainer, oral
appliances are custom-fit mouthpieces recommended by a dentist. These devices
are designed to gradually push the lower jaw into the proper position,
preventing soft tissue collapse overnight and allowing patients to breathe
Given their small, mobile, and custom fit, oral appliances
present an easy-to-wear, comfortable alternative to CPAP machines. As the
device is compact, patients who use oral appliances are also able to sleep
comfortably. Additionally, treatment is flexible – if for any reason your oral
device does not provide the relief you need, you are able to try other
treatment options or combine CPAP with an oral appliance for a multi-angle
solution to severe sleep apnea.
If you have any questions about sleep apnea, its treatments
and their advantages, contact Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale. We offer sleep
apnea treatment options to patients from Scottsdale and the surrounding Phoenix
communities of Fountain Hills, Carefree, and Cave Creek. Call Dr. Michael Kelly
today to learn more about the best sleep apnea treatment option for you.