A snoring device can help stop snoring
Millions of people suffer nightly from sleep apnea with symptoms ranging from snoring to being unable to breathe. The symptoms can be mild to severe and can lead to sleepless nights and in extreme cases, death.
Modern science has developed several methods designed to correct sleep disorders. The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open.
CPAP is typically used by people who have breathing problems, but it may be also used to treat preterm infants whose lungs have not fully developed. It involves a small bedside device and a mask worn while sleeping and help stop snoring.
Patients who do not respond to CPAP or may not be appropriate candidates for CPAP generally benefit from other oral appliances such as mouth guards. These small gadgets are similar to the mouthpieces worn by athletes and provide the wearer some much-needed relief from their breathing issues. However, their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven, nor is it covered by medical insurance.
Oral appliance therapy involves custom fabricating an FDA approved oral device fitted specifically for the patient. It maintains an unobstructed airway in the throat when worn during sleep. Custom-made oral appliances, fashioned by a sleep dentist, are proven to be much more effective than over-the-counter devices which are NOT recommended as a long-term therapy.
In the United States, oral devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea cannot be sold over the counter. A board certified sleep medicine physician must first provide a diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment approach. A dental sleep medicine specialist may then provide treatment and follow-up.
The benefits of oral appliances over CPAP
There are many benefits to using an oral appliance over a bulky CPAP machine. Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear. Since the appliances are custom fit specifically for each patient, most people find that it only takes a couple of weeks to become used to wearing them. Oral appliances are small and convenient making them easy to carry when traveling. In addition, the treatment with oral appliances is reversible and non-invasive and alleviates the need for painful surgeries or excessive doctor’s visits.
The main purpose of the oral snoring device is to reposition and stabilize the lower jaw and tongue, opening the throat and clearing the airway. This method of dental therapy improves the muscle tone of the tongue and literally teaches the patient how to breathe properly.
The physiology and structure of the wearer’s mouth and jaw is in most cases the root of many sleep disorders. An overbite or a protruding chin can put the soft pallet at the back of the throat in an improper position. Combined with the tongue retracting to the back of the mouth, the airflow is impeded and can cause loud snoring sounds along with pauses in breathing.
Oral appliances are designed to place the patient’s tongue forward in the mouth and involuntarily put the lower jaw back into alignment. The result is unobstructed breathing and a restful sleep. The use of an oral appliance in addition to lifestyle changes such as good sleep hygiene, exercise and weight loss can make major changes in a person’s sleep habits.
By treating sleep apnea, patients can reduce their risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and improve daytime alertness, concentration and emotional stability. All patients experiencing sleep disruptions are encouraged to contact Dr. Ben Polan who is a dentist in Beverly and an expert in providing successful treatment by delivering custom-designed oral devices.