Bay Area Sleep and Breathing Solutions

Sleep Apnea Treatment: Oral Appliances to Improve Breathing

By Matthew Mingrone, MD on December 18, 2017

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)Sleep apnea isn't just excessive snoring. The condition involves frequent interruptions in breathing that occur throughout the night. Getting a restful sleep can be difficult. In fact, sleep apnea can lead to a number of health and wellness issues, from high blood pressure and obesity to depression. While a CPAP machine was the standard treatment for sleep apnea for many years, new approaches have emphasized comfort and non-invasive care.

The team at Bay Area Sleep and Breathing Solutions has helped numerous people from San Francisco to San Jose who suffer from sleep apnea. Sometimes all it takes is the use of a simple custom mouthpiece. Let's explore the use of oral appliances to treat sleep apnea and how effective they can be.

About Sleep Apnea Appliances

Sleep apnea appliances are small oral devices that a person wears during sleep. These appliances help improve the ability of patients to breath during sleep, preventing sleep apnea and reducing snoring in the process. These are non-surgical and non-invasive devices custom fitted to the patient's mouth.

How Do These Sleep Apnea Appliances Work?

There are different kinds of appliances that can be used, but they generally work in two ways:

  • Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) – Also known as a Jaw Advancing Device (JAD), a MAD will push a person's lower jaw and tongue forward just a bit. This forward movement helps open up airways to improve breathing during sleep.

  • Tongue Retaining Mouthpiece – A tongue retaining mouthpiece helps hold the tongue in place during sleep, preventing it from sliding or curling back into the airways and interrupting normal breathing.

The right mouthpiece for your needs can be determined during the consultation process.

The Advantages of Oral Appliance Treatment

There are many advantages to having an oral appliance placed to treat sleep apnea:

  • Non-Invasive Treatment – With an oral appliance for sleep apnea, patients will not need to depend on surgery or other more invasive therapies. There's no downtime or complications from this form of treatment.

  • Comfort from Custom Crafting – The oral appliances are carefully crafted for fit and comfort. Patients won't need a cumbersome mask like with a CPAP machine.

  • Completely Silent – On the note of CPAP machines, these dental appliances don't make any noise. You won't be bothered, and neither will your partner.

  • Compact and Portable – Taking the appliance with you during travel is simple. Just put it in a small case that can fit in your pocket or bag. Simple as that.

Ideal Candidates for Sleep Apnea Appliances

Good candidates for sleep apnea appliances are people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, meaning that structures in their mouth and airways result in breathing interruptions. People who suffer from other forms of sleep apnea will require different kinds of treatment.

How Effective Are Sleep Apnea Appliances?

These oral appliances can be quite effective for many people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Patients are encouraged to eat healthy and exercise regularly as a supplement to professional care. This can promote better health and aid in the treatment of their breathing issues.

If the oral appliance is not effective at addressing a patient's sleep apnea, additional treatments can be discussed as part of the treatment process.

Contact Bay Area Sleep and Breathing Solutions

For more information about treating sleep apnea and improving your ability to sleep soundly and restfully at night, be sure to contact experienced sleep apnea treatment specialists today. The team at Bay Area Sleep and Breathing Solutions is here to help you find the right treatments for your problems.

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