Many people — and their partners — suffer from the effects of snoring. More than just a nuisance, it’s often a symptom of a serious condition — obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The most common treatment for OSA is a CPAP machine, but Dr. Mark Sowell of Sensational Smiles, a dental practice in Plano, TX can help with an alternative treatment in the form of an oral appliance to wear while you’re asleep.
Q: What causes sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is most commonly associated with obesity or excess weight. Being male, over the age of 55, and/or a smoker also increases your risk of OSA. With OSA, certain sleep positions can cause the sleeper’s airway to be obstructed as the muscles relax during sleep, restricting airflow to the rest of the body. The sleeper may awaken multiple times overnight gasping for air and often wakes up feeling tired, falls asleep during the day, and has issues with memory and concentration.
Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. How does the oral appliance work?
While CPAP therapy is the most common sleep apnea treatment, an oral appliance offers a similar result with less disruption. Both are different ways of keeping the airway open during sleep when the soft tissues in the mouth are more relaxed.
Instead of a constant airflow keeping the airway from collapsing during sleep, as is the case with CPAP therapy, the oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to keep the airway open. The device repositions the bottom jaw, moving it forward to keep the soft tissue from collapsing over the airway. It’s strong enough to withstand bruxism, or teeth grinding, so even nighttime teeth-grinders can benefit from the therapeutic effects of the device.
Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?
Dr. Sowell consults with his patients individually, examining the mouth and making sure you’re fitted correctly and comfortably. The device does reposition the jaw, but it’s designed to fit comfortably inside the mouth with as little disruption to sleep as possible. Most patients report a reduction in snoring while using the oral appliance, leading to better sleep and happier mornings!
Q: Can a dentist help treat snoring?
What makes an oral device comfortable and effective is how well it’s fitted to the individual patient’s mouth. Dr. Sowell will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure the device is as comfortable as possible.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Plano, TX
Our caring staff at Sensational Smiles in Plano, TX wants to help you get better sleep. Call (972) 382-6855 or schedule a complimentary consultation online today.