Snoring is more than just an annoyance to your sleep partner. It’s often a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Fortunately for Sterling, VA sleep apnea patients, Ridgetop Dental can help with an oral appliance to wear during sleep instead of a CPAP machine. Here are some of the most common questions we receive about the sleep apnea oral appliance.
Q: What causes sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is most commonly associated with obesity or excess weight. Certain sleep positions can obstruct the airway as the muscles relax during sleep, restricting airflow to the rest of the body. The sleeper often awakes multiple times overnight gasping for air, wakes up feeling tired, falls asleep during the day, and has issues with memory and concentration.
Q: Can the oral appliance substitute for a CPAP machine?
While CPAP therapy is the most common sleep apnea treatment, an oral appliance offers a similar result. Both are different ways of keeping the airway open during sleep, when the soft tissues in the mouth are more relaxed.
Instead of a constant airflow keeping the airway open during sleep, as is the case with CPAP therapy, the oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to keep the airway open. The device repositions the bottom jaw, moving it forward to keep the soft tissue from collapsing over the airway. It’s sturdy enough to withstand bruxism, or teeth grinding, so even nighttime teeth-grinders can benefit from it.
Q: Is the device uncomfortable?
Our Ridgetop Dental dentists meet with patients for an individual consultation where they will examine the mouth and make sure you’re fitted correctly and comfortably. The device does reposition the jaw, but it’s designed to fit comfortably inside the mouth with as little disruption to sleep as possible. Most patients report a reduction in snoring while using the oral appliance, leading to better sleep and happier mornings!
Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get treated?
What makes an oral device comfortable and effective is how well it’s fitted to the individual patient’s mouth. Your dentist will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure the device is as comfortable as possible. The last thing we want is for you to stop snoring but wake up with a sore jaw!
Our caring staff at Ridgetop Dental in Sterling, VA wants to help you get better sleep. Call (703) 520-7410 or schedule an appointment online today.