Many people suffer during the night from various conditions while they are asleep. These include apnea. Sufferers of sleep apnea will have trouble breathing during sleep. This is because their airways can tighten or wholly close for anywhere between a couple of seconds to a few minutes. Sleep apnea may sound like a very scary condition, but, thankfully, it is easy to treat, and sufferers can easily manage it.
One of the best ways to treat sleep apnea is by using an oral appliance. These are used to keep the airways open throughout the night. While the wearer is wearing their oral appliance, they don’t have to worry about waking up, unable to breathe in the evening.
So how does an oral appliance work? Very simply put, it is inserted into the mouth to keep the jaw and airway open. As the wearer has to be able to sleep with this contraption in their mouth, it is critical that it is correctly fitted. That is why each appliance is individually fitted to each patient. So if your dentist thinks you will benefit from one, he or she will need you to book another appointment. In this appointment, the dentist will fit an appliance so that you can wear it without any discomfort. And that also means you will be able to sleep without worrying about or being bothered by the oral appliance!
Not only does the oral appliance help sleep apnea sufferers to breathe continually throughout the night, but it also has some other advantages. It can help snorers to cut down on excessive snoring. Sleep apnea usually causes this, so the two symptoms often go hand in hand. Not only that, but it prevents you from being woken up by your very own noisy and laboured breathing.
Not sure if you could benefit from an oral appliance? There are some ways to tell if you suffer from sleep apnea. However, many people do not realize they have been suffering for it until they have had it for a few years. And that is because people often sleep through their symptoms. However, if you think you might be a sufferer, speak to your dentist.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include fatigue and sleepiness throughout the day. Sufferers also complain about memory loss and poor concentration. Mood swings, irritability, and depression are also included in the list of symptoms. Many patients also suffer from a loss of libido. Male sufferers will experience erectile dysfunction at some point as well.
So if you think that you may have sleep apnea, or that you could benefit from an oral appliance for another reason, speak to your dentist. He or she will be able to discuss your symptoms with you to figure out if it is the best way forward for you. Some dentists can fit a patient’s oral appliance themselves. Others might have to refer their patients to an oral medicine specialist.