If you suffer from the heavy snoring, gasping, and headaches associated with sleep apnea, you want a solution. Sleep apnea can lead to long-term health problems and dysfunction, including poor libido and sexual performance, high blood pressure, irritability, and daytime sleepiness.
A continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) may be offered to you by your medical provider. But you may soon find out that this bulky machine is loud, uncomfortable, and claustrophobic. Plus a CPAP can cause a dry mouth, nose bleeds, and skin irritations. These side effects mean a CPAP may not answer your sleep problems.
At Advanced Care Dentistry, we offer an alternative to the CPAP that is more comfortable, quiet, and portable. Read on to learn how a dental device may just be the way for you to treat sleep apnea and restore quality slumber.
First, what causes sleep apnea?
When you have sleep apnea, muscles in the back of the throat relax and prevent you from getting the oxygen you need. Your brain responds to this lack of oxygen by waking you up, sometimes hundreds of times a night. You may not even notice these awakenings, but your body does.
You’re robbed of quality deep sleep. As a result, your cognitive abilities and memory suffer. You may feel depressed and low on energy. When untreated, sleep apnea can lead to heart problems, daytime sleepiness, sexual dysfunction, type 2 diabetes, and reduced immune function.
Sleep apnea in adults often develops as you age. Obesity and structural deformities can also cause obstruction of your airway. Poor muscle function in your throat and tongue can also be to blame; this may be due to substance or alcohol use and neurological disorders.
Pregnant women and women in menopause may develop sleep apnea. And, there does seem to be a genetic component.
What is a mandibular advancement device (MAD)?
A mandibular advancement device, or MAD, is a custom-fitted mouthpiece that keeps your tongue from dropping toward the back of your throat and prevents your lower jaw from sinking far back in your throat. In this way, a MAD keeps your airway open so oxygen flows freely.
Patients usually much prefer oral devices over CPAPs for sleep apnea treatment. They’re less invasive and more cost effective. If you travel, an oral device is much easier to pack than an entire CPAP machine. Plus, an oral device is quiet so it won’t disturb you, or your sleeping partner, at night.
If it’s suspected that obesity or overweight is contributing to your sleep apnea, an oral device complements a weight-loss program.
At Advanced Care Dentistry, you may take advantage of the Avant device made by Somnomed. This is the strongest, yet smallest, of Somnomed’s offerings. It’s also their first milled oral device that features a soft liner for a fit that’s comfortable for patients.
How do I get a MAD?
The team at Advanced Care Dentistry reviews your sleep apnea symptoms and oral structures to make sure a MAD is right for your treatment. A MAD is usually recommended for mild-to-moderate sleep apnea, but may be helpful for those with severe sleep apnea who just can’t tolerate a CPAP.
To learn more about a comfortable way to address sleep apnea and finally get the shut-eye you need, call Advanced Care Dentistry in Woodinville, Washington or schedule a consultation online. We’re here to help the health of your teeth and so much more.