Obstructive sleep apnea is a life threatening condition that affects around 22 million Americans. Sleep apnea is the termination of breathing while sleeping. Sufferers can experience many episodes while sleeping, with each one lasting around 10 seconds and occurring many times per hour. The discontinuous supply of oxygen to the body can cause numerous health problems.
Untreated apneic patients are at greater health risks. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), snorers are involved in thrice as many motor vehicle accidents as non-snorers. In fact, studies have shown that snorers have slower reaction times than a legally intoxicated person. Studies have also proven that untreated sleep apnea can cause a six-fold increase in heart attacks and strokes.
There are several symptoms of sleep apnea that may get undiagnosed. These symptoms could also manifest themselves in a unique combination. Possible symptoms include:
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has defined parameters for oral appliance therapy as:
"Oral appliances are indicated for use in patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea who prefer them to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, or who do not respond to, are not appropriate candidates for, or who fail treatment attempts with CPAP. Until there is higher quality evidence to suggest efficacy, CPAP is indicated whenever possible for patients with severe OSA before considering oral appliances."
The oral appliances are preferred as a more convenient option than CPAP therapy. Common mandibular advancement devices are:
The oral appliances reposition the lower jaw and tongue to help keep the airway open. These oral appliances have several advantages over CPAP therapy. They are custom-fitted, FDA approved devices, and minimize the effects of sleep apnea by preventing airway obstruction and allowing the patient to breathe easily and continuously.
If you have any symptoms of sleep apnea, contact Fabey Dental Studio for a full consultation and/or oral appliance therapy. If you are experiencing difficulty adjusting to your CPAP, get a custom-fitted oral appliance today!
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