Early Detection of Sleep Apnea: Oral Devices to Manage Your Condition

SleepReports show that over 25 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). According to health officials, the occurrence rate of this condition continues to rise. If left untreated, this condition may lead to other serious complications, such as high blood pressure, liver problems, and type 2 diabetes.

If you experience symptoms of this condition, consult a healthcare professional offering sleep apnea treatment. Don’t wait until your condition becomes severe enough that you may require surgery to manage the problem.

As the people behind the practice of TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Northern Indiana say, “It is very important to seek medical attention if sleep apnea is suspected.” If diagnosed early, sleep apnea dentists may advise lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, observing proper diet, or changing sleep habits. Apart from these, your dentist may also recommend devices, such as the following:

Oral Appliances

Your dentist may recommend mouth devices, which are available as ready-made or customized. One of the oral appliances they use for managing sleep apnea symptoms is the mandibular advancement device or the MAD. This stabilizes the tongue and the soft palate, keeping the airway open. Another oral appliance is the tongue-retaining device. This keeps the tongue in place to avoid airway blockage and ensure proper breathing during sleep.

Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (ERAP)

Known as ERAP, this small device allows air to move freely when inhaling and exhaling. Dentists place this over the nostrils of the patient before going to sleep. The valve has small holes, which is responsible for the passage of air. The airway remains open due to the increased pressure.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Device

The CPAP device is a widely used treatment for sleep apnea. This appears like a mask that dentists fit over the nose and mouth. The device blows air at a pre-determined pressure. With this regulated pressure, the airway remains open and prevents the patient from experiencing breathing pauses.

Consult Your Sleep Apnea Dentist

If you suffer from sleep apnea, be sure to consult a dentist or sleep doctor, as some of these devices may only be used with their guidance. They may also recommend the appropriate treatment plan for your condition.