What to Expect From Your Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance

Apr 24 • 3 minute read

Are you considering using a sleep apnea oral appliance to improve the quality of your sleep? Sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep, can have serious health implications if left untreated. Oral appliances offer a non-invasive alternative to CPAP machines for managing sleep apnea. Here is some helpful insight into what you can anticipate when using a sleep apnea oral appliance.

What Is a Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance?

Sleep apnea oral appliances, also known as mandibular advancement devices (MADs) or mandibular repositioning devices (MRDs), are custom-made appliances that keep your airway open during sleep by advancing your lower jaw forward. By doing so, they prevent the collapse of soft tissues in your throat that causes obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). These appliances are often recommended for individuals with mild to moderate sleep apnea or for those who cannot tolerate a CPAP machine.

Initial Adjustment Period

When you first start using a sleep apnea oral appliance, it’s normal to experience an adjustment period. Your dentist will fit the appliance to ensure it’s comfortable and effective. However, it may take some time for your mouth and jaw to get used to the device. You may experience minor discomfort, such as jaw soreness or excessive saliva production, during the initial nights of wearing the appliance. These symptoms typically subside as your mouth adjusts to the device.

Improved Sleep

One of the most significant benefits of using a sleep apnea oral appliance is the improved quality of your sleep. By keeping your airway open throughout the night, the appliance helps reduce the frequency and severity of breathing interruptions associated with sleep apnea. As a result, you’ll experience fewer disruptions during the night and enjoy deeper, more restful sleep. Many users report feeling more refreshed after using the appliance consistently.

Increased Comfort and Convenience

Compared to CPAP machines, which require wearing a mask and being connected to a machine via tubing, oral appliances offer greater comfort and convenience. The compact size and portability of oral appliances make them ideal for travel, allowing you to maintain your sleep apnea treatment wherever you go. Additionally, oral appliances don’t produce noise like CPAP machines, providing a quieter sleeping environment for both you and your partner.

Regular Follow-Ups and Adjustments

To ensure the continued effectiveness of your sleep apnea oral appliance, it’s essential to attend regular follow-up appointments with your dentist. During these visits, your dentist will assess your progress and make any necessary adjustments to the appliance to optimize its fit and function. As your jaw position may change over time, periodic adjustments may be required to maintain optimal treatment outcomes.

Long-Term Benefits for Overall Health

Consistent use of a sleep apnea oral appliance not only improves your sleep quality but also contributes to better overall health. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and other serious health conditions. By effectively managing your sleep apnea with an oral appliance, you can lower your risk of developing these comorbidities and enjoy better long-term health outcomes.

A Step Towards Better Sleep and Health

Using a sleep apnea oral appliance offers numerous benefits for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. From improved sleep quality and increased comfort to long-term health benefits, these devices provide an effective alternative to CPAP therapy. While there may be an initial adjustment period, the benefits of using a sleep apnea oral appliance far outweigh any temporary discomfort.

If you’re struggling with sleep apnea and seeking a non-invasive treatment option, consider talking to your dentist about whether an oral appliance is right for you. With proper use and regular follow-ups, you can take a significant step towards better sleep and overall health.

The post What to Expect From Your Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance first appeared on Dental Signal.

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