Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Do you suffer from Sleep Apnea?

If you suffer from Sleep Apnea, you may have tried a C-Pap or other device with varying results. If you are considering using an oral appliance, here are the most frequently asked questions with some good information from the Kois Center for Advanced Dentistry.

  1. What is an Oral Appliance?It is a removable device worn in the mouth during sleep that helps control sleep apnea and snoring, thus improving sleep quality. The appliance gently positions the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward. This opens space in the back of the throat and reduces tissue obstruction to help keep your airway open and clear during sleep.
  2. What are the benefits of Oral ApplianceTherapy?Sleep Apnea may pose serious health risks since it disrupts normal sleep patterns and can reduce normal blood oxygen levels. This can result in problems such as daytime sleepiness, driving and work related accidents, irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and memory and learning problems. By wearing an oral appliance during sleep, your body may be able to maintain higher blood oxygen levels and lessen the severity of problems associated with sleep-disordered breathing.
  3. What are the risks of wearing an Oral Appliance during sleep?Short-termsideeffectsmayincludeexcessivesalivation,difficulty swallowing with the appliance in place, sore jaws, sore teeth, jaw joint pain, dry mouth and short term bite changes. Most of these side effects are minor and resolve quickly on their own.Long-term complications may include permanent and significant bite changes as a result of wearing an Oral Sleep Appliance. Follow- up visits with the provider of your oral appliance are needed to ensure proper fit and effectiveness.
  4. What are the alternatives to Oral Appliance Therapy?Other accepted treatments for sleep-disordered breathing may include behavioral modifications, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and various surgeries.
  5. What are the post-treatmentconsiderations?Follow-up visits with your provider are mandatory to ensure a proper fit and to examine your mouth to ensure a healthy condition. Alert your provider if you experience any changes. After fitting your Sleep Appliance, a sleep study is necessary to objectively ensure effective treatment.

The office of Keith A. Kye, DDS, FAGD is located in Huntersville, NC and also serves the surrounding communities of Lake Norman and Cornelius. You can reach us at 704-896-0515 or at www.kyedentistry.com