Dr. Pega Escalante from Dr. Drake Sleep Solutions discusses sleep apnea and how dental devices can help.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops repeatedly during sleep. This can happen hundreds of times a night, each time lasting for a few seconds or minutes. Sleep apnea can cause a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Dental devices work by holding the jaw forward in a position that keeps the airway open. This can help prevent the tongue from falling back and blocking the airway. There are two main types of dental devices for sleep apnea: mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and tongue retaining devices.
MADs are the most common type of dental device for sleep apnea. They look like mouth guards and are worn over the upper and lower teeth. MADs work by pushing the lower jaw forward, which helps to keep the airway open.
Tongue retaining devices are less common, but they can be effective for people with sleep apnea caused by the tongue falling back. Tongue retaining devices hold the tongue in place while you sleep, which helps to keep the airway open.
Dental devices offer a number of benefits over other treatments for sleep apnea, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. Dental devices are:
- More comfortable to wear than CPAP machines
- Quieter than CPAP machines
- Easier to travel with than CPAP machines
- More affordable than CPAP machines
Dental device therapy is most effective for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. It can also be an option for people with severe sleep apnea who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if dental device therapy is right for you.