Sleep apnea is a serious condition at any age. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can herald life-threatening conditions. It’s caused by the airway being physically blocked during sleep. Although the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is the most widely known of assistive appliances, at Burton Dentistry in Alexandria, we provide several other methods of assisting in the treatment of sleep apnea.
The two primary dental devices for sleep apnea are:
- Mandibular advancement devices (MADs). These devices look a lot like retainers or sports mouthguards. They fit over the lower and upper dental arches with metal hinges connecting both pieces. MADs push the jaw and tongue forward, keeping throat muscles from falling down back into the airways. MADs can be fine-tuned by your dentist at Burton Dentistry in Alexandria.
- Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces. TRM devices are built along the same lines as the MADs but have a small suction pad that holds the tongue forward, keeping it from falling down into the airway.
Note that over-the-counter devices may eliminate snoring, but they’re not treating the cessation of breathing sleep apnea causes. The condition is continuing or worsening. At Burton Dentistry in Alexandria, we make custom-fitted sleep apnea oral devices for your unique needs.
Pros of Dental Devices
- Dental devices tend to be more comfortable than the CPAP mask.
- Oral devices don’t cause itchy dry noses and dried-out sinus problems that are sometimes an issue with CPAP.
- People who move actively in their sleep don’t have problems with becoming tangled in lines and hoses with dental devices for sleep apnea, as opposed to CPAP machines.
- For frequent travelers, dental devices are much easier to travel with, as they have no machinery, no tubing, no wires.
Cons of Dental Devices
- Pain in the jaws, tense jaws
- Gums can become sore
- Dry mouth
- Possible loosening of crowns or bridges
Who can have dental devices for sleep apnea?
- Dental appliances are not recommended for people with moderate or severe sleep apnea.
- People who have problems snoring but don’t have sleep apnea
- People who have tried CP AP but been unable to benefit for it.
At Burton Dentistry in Alexandria, we work in conjunction with your sleep therapist to give you the best sleep apnea alleviating dental device possible.