Custom Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea By Jon Marc Van Slate DDS on October 01, 2019

Oral appliance for sleep apnea and snoringWhen people hear the phrase “sleep apnea,” they tend to think it means excessive snoring. While snoring is a major symptom of sleep apnea, the condition is much more complex. Countless patients in the Houston, TX area have met with Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate for effective non-surgical sleep apnea treatment, and it typically involves a simply mouthpiece.

Our team would like to take a moment to consider the basics of obstructive sleep apnea and how an oral appliance worn at night may be just what you need to breathe right and rest easy.

About Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the condition. It’s the result of physical blockage of the air passageways when a person is sleeping. Frequent interruptions in breathing can cause problems with having a restful night of sleep, which can cause many issues with health and wellness through the day.

This could be due to the muscles of your throat relaxing too much to maintain an open airway. This can cause the soft palate, the uvula, the tonsils, adenoids, or the tongue to slide back and impair your ability to breathe freely.

Common Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Some of the most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up frequently during sleep
  • Gasping or choking during a sleep interruption
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

How Sleep Apnea Appliances Work

A sleep apnea appliance from our Houston dental center is essentially a custom mouthpiece worn during sleep. It gently repositions the lower jaw in order to maintain an open airway for the entire night. This means reduced likelihood of breathing interruptions and a more restful night of sleep.

The Benefits of Custom Sleep Apnea Appliances

Sleep apnea mouthpieces have a number of advantages over other treatments for sleep apnea:

  • Non-Surgical and Non-Invasive - Sleep apnea mouthpieces don’t require any surgery or any sort of invasive treatment. Impressions are taken of the mouth in order to craft a custom mouthpiece. That’s all there is to it.
  • Quieter and Less Cumbersome Than CPAP Machines - CPAP machines are a common sleep apnea treatment, but the face masks are large and uncomfortable, and they can be noisy. That’s not an issue with sleep apnea appliances.
  • Less Expensive Than Other Treatments - A simple oral appliance for sleep apnea is far more affordable than surgery for the condition and other more advanced procedures.

A Multi-Pronged Approach to Sleep Apnea Treatment

While the sleep apnea appliance is an important part of the treatment process, our team may also focus on contributing factors in a patient’s lifestyle that may make their sleep apnea worse. This could include resources to help a patient quit smoking, pointers on losing excess weight, discussion of sleep position and beddings, and so on.

By focusing on the blocked airways as well as the ways patients can reduce the severity of the condition at home, we hope to find the ideal, sustainable, and lasting treatment for the patient’s sleep apnea.

Speak with an Experienced Dentist

For more information about treating obstructive sleep and what can be done to treat it, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate can be reached in Houston by phone at (713) 783-1993.

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