Do you or your partner snore at night? Do you often awaken feeling groggy and tired- even after sufficient hours of sleep?
Snoring during sleep may be more than just a sleep habit: it can be an indicator of an underlying health issue that can sometimes be detrimental to overall physical health and well-being.
Patients who snore may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that causes a patient to stop breathing momentarily during sleep and then resume breathing with a loud snore. During these apnea episodes, patients with OSA are at risk of developing irregular heart rhythms and reduced oxygen flow to vital organs, including the brain. Snoring can truly be a sign of a serious long-term health risk.
Determining the cause of snoring is an important part of providing the correct treatment for long-term relief from symptoms and possible health risks. The dental care team of Bethesda Dental Implant Center has post-graduate training in the field of sleep medicine and understands the health risks associated with snoring.
Symptoms of OSA:
- Sleepiness or fatigue during the daytime
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
- Headaches in the morning
- Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, depression, or irritability
- Night sweats
- Restlessness during sleep
- Sudden awakenings with a sensation of gasping or choking
- Difficulty getting up in the mornings
Oral Appliance Therapy
An oral appliance is often the front-line treatment for patients with mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It works by keeping your jaws, tongue, and mouth in the correct position. The appliance will prevent the collapse of your tongue and soft tissues to keep your airway open during sleep. It is a small plastic device similar to a custom sports mouthguard.
These oral appliances may be an applicable alternative to the CPAP machine because it is more comfortable and discreet.
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
- Comfortable, discreet, and easy to wear
- High patient acceptance rate
- Convenient to use when traveling
- Treatment is non-invasive and reversible
How Do Oral Appliances Work?
There are several different types of oral appliances. Everyone’s mouth and jaw are different. Dr. Eskow will perform an evaluation to determine which type is best for you. There are two basic types of oral appliances we use: a tongue retaining appliance and a mandibular repositioning appliance.
On your first visit, your dentist will discuss your medical, dental, and social histories. In addition, your oral health, bite, tooth alignment, soft and hard tissues, and periodontal health will be assessed.
If your sleep test places you in the proper range for an oral appliance, our dental care team will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental lab where the device will be made. The oral appliance is custom-made to fit only your mouth. It should fit snuggly, without any give. With proper care and maintenance, the appliance will serve you well for a long time.
Depending on the specific oral appliance used, it may::
- Properly align your jaws when laying down
- Stabilize your tongue during sleep
- Reposition the soft tissues in your mouth
- Increase the muscle tone of your tongue
Schedule a Consultation
Snoring can be detrimental to your daily life and also present health risks. If you suffer from snoring and sleep apnea in the Bethesda, MD area, call (301) 200-5222 to schedule an appointment for a sleep apnea pre-screening with one of our dentists in Bethesda, MD.