Simple Solutions for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Over 50% of patients using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which is usually prescribed by Medical sleep professionals, complain that they have difficulty wearing the apparatus. The mask over the nose and/or mouth and the strap around the head cause many patients to complain of discomfort and even headaches. Too often, these patients give up on this type of treatment.
In many patients, a simple sleep appliance could have brought results. The benefits of this kind of appliance include being non-invasive, well accepted and cost effective. Our office is able to conservatively treat patients that are suffering with snoring and/or mild to moderate sleep Apnea.
These patients may present themselves with enlarged tonsils or an enlarged tongue. Even significant tooth wear can result in sleep apnea. Inevitably, the tongue collapses while asleep and the airway becomes restricted, thereby preventing sufficient air from reaching the lungs.
Clinical trials show that oral appliances can be very effective in treating simple snoring and/or mild to moderate sleep apnea. These appliances can prevent the need for medications, surgery and other therapies such as CPAP. They are especially effective for those patients who:
- Cannot wear and comply with the restrictions of a CPAP
- Do not wish to have medications
- Need a CPAP plus an appliance and/or even surgery
The appliance is similar to an upper splint or bite guard. It has an extension that prevents the lower jaw from slipping backwards while sleeping. When the lower jaw slips backwards it closes the airway space and does not allow enough air to get to the lungs. This may result in snoring and sleep apnea. The appliance is easy to wear and keeps the airway open while sleeping. Our appliances are made of a firm but flexible clear plastic. They have a soft liner that keeps the appliance safely in the mouth while sleeping and makes them comfortable to wear. When adjusted properly they can even prevent TMJ problems or even improve them. They are about 2-3 mm thick. The thickness plus the extension helps keep the airway open while sleeping.