Millions of Americans suffer from the effects of sleep apnea, a condition where those diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) may stop breathing multiple times per hour throughout the night. This potentially life-threatening condition not only affects the quality of your sleep, but also increases your risk of health disorders like heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. In addition, OSA can lead to excessive daytime exhaustion, making you prone to accidents, whether in an automobile or at work.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP equipment, which delivers a controlled stream of pressurized air through a hose attached to a facemask worn while sleeping. However, CPAP intolerance may occur due to latex allergies, mask leaks, or an inability to use it through the night. If CPAP equipment has not provided relief, it may be time to discuss oral appliance therapy with your dentist.
Oral appliance therapy is designed to treat mild to moderate OSA and may eliminate or reduce the need for CPAP equipment. If you have severe OSA, this therapy may be used in combination with other treatments. Each sleep apnea device is customized to fit your mouth and address your specific needs. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a qualified dentist to ensure proper fit to prevent damage to teeth, gums and jaw joints.