Treat Your Obstructive Sleep Apnea With a Custom Mouthguard
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, can negatively affect your sleep, quality of life, and overall health. Along with placing you at higher risk of serious systemic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, OSA can affect your mood and ability to concentrate. While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines have been used to treat sleep apnea in the past, they can be loud and uncomfortable to use during the night. Alternatively, Dr. Todd Shainhotlz can provide non-invasive, custom sleep apnea treatment at his office in Eagle, CO. Custom oral appliances have been shown to safely and effectively treat OSA for patients with minor and severe cases of the condition.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is one of the most difficult disorders to detect because most of the symptoms occur while you sleep. However, there are signs that might suggest you have sleep apnea, such as:
- Frequent exhaustion
- Heavy snoring
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty focusing
- Waking up throughout the night
- Dry mouth
Although the cause of sleep apnea varies from patient to patient, factors such as aging, obesity, and genetic disposition can increase your risk of the disorder.
The Effects of OSA
Unlike central sleep apnea, which is caused by neurological issues and is considered much more serious, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat becomes blocked by your tongue or enlarged throat tissue during the course of the night. Many patients with sleep apnea stop breathing for seconds to minutes at a time, dozens of times throughout the course of a single night.
Obstructive sleep apnea relief can be simple and effective with the help of your dentist.
How We Can Help
If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, or notice the symptoms of sleep apnea in a loved one, you can visit Dr. Shainholtz to review your symptoms and discuss your treatment options. If you have not been previously diagnosed with a sleep disorder, Dr. Shainholtz may order a sleep study in which you take a device home to monitor your activity during sleep. This monitor will document your heart rate, oxygen intake, and breathing patterns to accurately diagnose your sleep disorder. Based on the results of this study, Dr. Shainholtz can determine whether a mouthguard alone can help you reduce your symptoms.
Creating Your Custom Mouthguard
Dr. Shainholtz can provide a custom oral appliance based on your anatomy and symptoms. These mouthguards closely resemble sports mouthguards or clear aligners and are worn during the night. By pulling the lower jaw slightly forward, these mouthguards can prevent tissues in the throat from blocking your airways. The mouthguards are made of smooth plastic to fit comfortably and securely. Several studies have concluded that oral appliance therapy can improve obstructive sleep apnea, even for patients with severe symptoms.
Benefits of Treatment
Treating your sleep apnea can have many benefits, and some patients notice the effects of sleep apnea therapy almost immediately. Most patients experience changes such as:
- Improved mood
- Less fatigue
- Better overall sleep
Sleep apnea treatment can also help you reduce your risk of serious diseases and improve your quality of life. With uninterrupted sleep, you can experience more energy throughout your day.
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