Oral Appliance Therapy
We here at Calapooia Family Dental offer oral appliance therapy for people that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, obstructive, or otherwise, can be a very serious disorder that disrupts your day-to-day life. Oral appliance therapy may be the best way to get your sleep (and your life) back on track!
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening disorder characterized by the repeated cessation of breath during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times per night. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back of your mouth block your airway. This includes the muscles that support the soft palate, the tonsils, the tongue, and the walls of your throat.
When these muscles relax, your airway closes in as you breathe. After a while, the oxygen levels in your blood stream plummet. Your brain then senses your lack of oxygen and arouses you from sleep to reopen your airway. These moments of awakening are typically so brief you do not remember them the next morning.
People with obstructive sleep apnea usually snort, choke, or gasp during sleep. Repeatedly awakenings can also impair your ability to reach deep, restful sleep. This can cause excessive daytime drowsiness, irritability, and a lack of focus.
Complications Associated With Sleep Apnea
Besides the usual symptoms, severe instances of sleep apnea can cause several serious complications for your overall health. Studies have shown that sleep apnea is linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, metabolic syndrome, liver problems, and complications with medications and surgery. Treating your sleep apnea as soon as possible can help reduce your risk of developing any of these complications.
Treating Sleep Apnea with an Oral Appliance
The symptoms of sleep apnea are usually reported by a sleep partner first. Because many of these symptoms occur during sleep, diagnosis of the disorder can be difficult. We will perform a comprehensive examination and review your sleep history to determine whether or not you need treatment.
Oral appliance therapy is often the ideal choice for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Once we determine that an oral appliance is right for you, we will take an impression of your teeth. This impression will be used to create a custom-fit appliance for improved comfort, durability, and effectiveness.
The type of oral appliance we recommend depends on the type and severity of your sleep apnea. However, most oral appliances are designed to keep your lower jaw in a forward position during sleep. This helps prevent the muscles in your throat from collapsing and keeps your airway open.
Once you receive your appliance, we may ask you to schedule several follow up appointments so we can monitor your progress. You might need to try different appliances before finding most effective one. If an oral appliance fails to alleviate your symptoms, you may need an alternative treatment. Talk with Dr. Summers during your appointment to learn more about your options.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Now!
If you think you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be the ideal solution! Call (541) 936-9222 to schedule your consultation appointment today!