Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance
Sleep Apnea dental appliance options are an alternative to the CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) device used to address mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dental devices are gaining in popularity as the awareness of Dental Sleep Medicine (DSM) grows, and this area of dentistry happens to be one of the specialties here at Ginger Price DDS Family Cosmetic Dentistry.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, an astounding 18 million people in the United States suffer from sleep related breathing disorders (SBD) and don’t even realize it. Some of the symptoms include snoring, fatigue or daytime sleepiness, memory loss, early morning headaches, depression, irritability, decreased sex drive, and inability to concentration. If this condition remains untreated, it can result in high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks, and sudden death during sleep. It also has been know to be a factor in some motor vehicle accidents.
Dentists have pioneered the development of oral appliance therapy (OAP) so that there are options available to those who suffer from sleep disturbed breathing (SDB). In fact, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) was established to promote research and the use of sleep apnea oral appliances and dental surgery for the treatment of breathing disorders during sleep.
Here in Arizona, Dr. Ginger Price has taken the lead to help those plagued by this issue and has personally studied dental sleep medicine with Dr. Ira L. Shapira. A pioneer of the field, Ira Shapira DDS has been treating sleep apnea with oral appliances for most of his professional career.
Know as OAT, oral appliance therapy involves dental device selection and fitting. In addition, follow-up adjustments and long term care help you address this problem. This type of sleep apnea treatment is better tolerated by patients who use it 90-95% of the time. This is a lot higher than compliance with CPAP device usage.
A sleep apnea dental device looks similar to the mouth guards worn in sports and helps to maintain an open, unobstructed air way. It also helps reposition the tongue, the soft palate of the mouth and lower jaw. Using OAT will also increase the muscle tone of the tongue and stabilize both the tongue and lower jaw.
“Oral appliances for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea offer patients a treatment option that is safe, effective and easy to use.” (Sleepmatters, National Sleep Foundation, Winter 2008.)
If you are seeking alternative solutions for obstructive sleep apnea or sleep disturbed breathing issues, we encourage you to call the smile dental clinic to explore a sleep apnea dental appliance.