Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea using Oral Appliance Therapy

Having a good night’s sleep is vital in leaving your brain and body fresh for maximum productivity the next day. There are a variety of sleeping disorders that affect people and hinder or disrupt their sleeping patterns. Most of these disorders affect how you breathe when you are asleep. Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder. This can be dealt with through Austin oral appliance therapy. Read on to find out what it is and what kind of conditions it can be used to treat.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder that results in a person getting disrupted when they sleep. It is a sleeping disorder characterized by a person stopping to breathe many times during the night. There are three types of sleep apnea:

  •         Obstructive Sleep Apnea- This occurs when your upper airway is blocked entirely or partly during sleep, causing the chest and diaphragm to work harder, increasing pressure to open the airway resulting in a body jerk or loud gasp.
  •         Central Sleep Apnea- The brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to a lack of stability in the central nervous system.
  •         Mixed Sleep Apnea- This is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea affects people of all ages, though more frequent in men than women. Certain factors may increase the chances of contracting obstructive sleep apnea, such as:

  •         Being overweight
  •         Huge neck
  •         Structural abnormalities that reduce the diameter of the upper airway

Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by airway blocking, typically when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses while sleeping.

Your bed partner first observes most signs and symptoms, not the patient. Some common signs and symptoms include:

  •         Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
  •         Snoring
  •         Waking up suddenly at night with sensations of choking or gasping
  •         Restlessness during sleep
  •         Night sweats
  •         Headaches
  •         Sexual dysfunction
  •         Sore throat or dry mouth
  •         Irritability, forgetfulness, or trouble concentrating

Effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea may lead to several health problems like:

  •         Stroke
  •         Hypertension
  •         Arrhythmias
  •         Congestive heart failure
  •         Heart attacks
  •         Cardiomyopathy

If untreated, it may also lead to work-related accidents, academic underachievement in children, motor vehicle crashes, or job impairment.

Treatment using oral appliance therapy

Several dental devices can be used to deal with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. These devices keep the airway open during sleep by preventing the tongue from blocking the throat or moving the lower jaw forward. Benefits of using oral appliance therapy include:

  •         It is quiet
  •         It works without electricity
  •     It improves symptoms of OSA
  •       It can be taken with and used while traveling
  •         It is a better option than intolerable CPAP

If you experience any symptoms of Obstructive sleep apnea, it is advisable to visit your local medical practitioner. Dealing with OSA can significantly improve your quality of life by reducing your sleep disruptions helping you have a more productive day. Check out our website mentioned above, or call our offices in Austin, TX, to book a consultation.

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