Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing periodically throughout the night due to physical obstructions of the airway. These stops in breathing usually last for around ten seconds and are often followed by snorts, gasps, or choking sounds as a person's body fights to resume breathing again.
When you stop breathing during the night, your brain responds by partially waking to send signals to the respiratory system to work harder to get past the obstruction.
Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea
A sleep study must first be performed to determine the severity of one's symptoms.For mild to moderate sleep apnea, a dental device is often the recommended therapy. Dental devices may also be recommended to be worn in conjunction a CPAP device to help lower high pressure needs.
Dr Romriell will custom fit an oral device to suit your particular needs. Over-the-counter devices may be appealing because of their reduced prices, but can actually complicate sleep apnea. Many patients who order oral devices without consulting with a dentist, find that their snoring symptoms went away, but were unaware that it was not preventing apnea events leading to complications down the road as only the snoring symptom was prevented but the disorder itself was not.
Pros of Dental devices
- - Many patients find dental devices to be more comfortable and tolerable to wear as opposed to CPAP masks.
- - Patients on CPAP often complain of dry, itchy noses from the air pressure drying out their sinuses. Oral devices do not have this problem.
- - There is less equipment to become entangled with during sleep, or knock off during slumber, for patients who are active movers during sleep.
- - There is a lot less equipment involved, and therefore easier to travel with.
Sleep apnea is a common condition in the United States. It can occur when the upper airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep, reducing or completely stopping airflow. This is known as obstructive sleep apnea. If the brain does not send the signals needed to breathe, the condition may be called central sleep apnea.
Risk factors include age and obesity. It's more common in men. Symptoms include snoring loudly and feeling tired even after a full night's sleep. Treatment often includes lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, and the use of a breathing assistance device at night, such as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
- - high blood pressure
- heart arrhythmias
- heart disease
- heart attack
- increased risk of diabetes
- and even death
Sleep apnea even leads to excessive daytime sleepiness because each time your brain has to "wake up" to tell your body to continue breathing, it's not spending enough time doing all of the other functions that are necessary of quality sleep.
Being tired all day can cause poor performance at work or school, memory and other cognitive troubles, depression, and even accidents while driving or while at work.
There are two major categories of dental devices:
- 1. Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs)
- 2. Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces
MADs used to treat sleep apnea look very similar to sports mouthguards or orthodontic retainers. They fit into the mouth by snapping over the upper and lower dental arches and have metal hinges connecting the two pieces: one fits over the upper teeth, and the other fits over the lower teeth.
MADs work by pushing the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward, which helps prevent throat muscles and issues (such as the pharynx) from collapsing back into the airways allowing for normal breathing during sleep. Most MADs are adjustable, allowing for dentists to fine-tune the position of the jaw for maximum effectiveness.
Tongue retaining mouthpieces are similar in construction to the MAD, but has a small compartment that fits around the tongue using suction to keep it held forward, preventing it from collapsing back into the airway. These devices are mostly used in patients who cannot adequately have their jaw repositioned forward.
There is a very big difference between CPAP and oral device therapy, and it can be summed up in a single word: comfort. Both products allow a mild-to-moreate OSA patient to breathe while asleep.
Unfortunately, for CPAP to work the patient needs to wear a mask while they sleep that is hooked-up to a machine that pumps air into their mouth and nose. The mask is not very comfortable and the hoses and wires can be very cumbersome to manage while sleeping. The compliance rate for CPAP users, or those who are prescribed CPAP and actually use it every night, is only 50 percent.
A crown covers a tooth to restore its normal shape and size. The cap is placed on teeth that have lost a lot of their structure-- dental crowns range from full porcelain to full metal.
Sealants can protect parts of the tooth, particularly pits and fissures in permanent molars, from plaque and food. They can also stop small areas of decay from becoming larger.
Dental implants provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Eat virtually anything plus implants help solve denture problems.
We create removable, permanent, and implant-retained dental appliances, including partial and full dentures, using modern materials to design affordable dentures that fit perfectly.
"I just love First Choice Dental! Doc. Romriell is excellent! His staff is professional but fun too. I am in the middle of my second implant... first one turned out perfect! I'm so glad that we have such amazing implant specialists in Twin Falls."
"After a year of not being able to bite into anything without excruciating pain, Dr. Romriell's expertise and appliances made it possible for me to eat again. I cannot begin to express my appreciation to him and his staff. "
"Thanks to Dr Romriell, I have the best fitting dentures ever due to implants. Eating is a new experience. I can now, for the first time, am confident taking my wife out to dinner and not worrying if my dentures will fail or fall out during meals. And I have a great smile. "
Contact Us Today & Get A Basic Exam for only $49
Offer valid for new patients only, some exclusions apply, call for details.