Can Oral Appliance Therapy Promote Better Sleep?

Can Oral Appliance Therapy Promote Better Sleep?

A good night’s sleep is crucial to your overall health. Your body needs, on average, 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night to function optimally.

Sleep apnea, however, can get in the way of you getting this much-needed rest. It can also predispose you to conditions such as stroke and heart disease. Could oral appliance therapy from Barry Chase, DDS be what you need for a good night’s sleep?

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping condition where the throat closes on itself while you are sleeping. When this happens, you can temporarily fail to breathe anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

You might snore loudly or wake up in the middle of your sleep. The latter is common in more severe cases and can cause disruptive sleep.

As sleep apnea is associated with poor sleep quality, it can lead to fatigue. Some people also experience a headache for the first few hours after they awake.

Types of Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy uses dental devices to alleviate the symptoms of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and snoring. Generally, there are two types of oral appliance devices. They are:

  • Tongue Retaining Device (TRD) – The TRD is designed to function like a splint. It keeps your airway open by holding your tongue in place.
  • Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) – MAD, on the other hand, keeps your airway open by gently forcing your lower jaw slightly forward and lower.

What Are the Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy?

Oral appliance therapy is one of the treatment options available for people suffering from sleeping conditions. It is an alternative to treatments such as CPAP. However, you might prefer oral appliance therapy to CPAP because of its:

Ease of Use

Compared to a CPAP machine, oral appliances can be relatively comfortable. They fit in your mouth and don't require you to adjust your sleeping position. Additionally, they don't disrupt your movement during sleep, unlike using a CPAP, which requires you to lay on your back all night.

If your oral appliance becomes uncomfortable during the night, you can easily adjust it.

Easy to Transport

Oral appliances are relatively small. They can fit in your mouth, which means you can easily carry them in your bag or pocket. Consequently, oral appliance therapy is convenient for travel. You can continue your treatment while on a business trip or vacation.

Reduced Side Effects

Patients who use other sleep apnea treatments often complain about side effects such as blocked noses or rashes around the mouth. While oral appliance therapy might have effects, they are usually mild and infrequent.

Are There Side Effects?

As with any treatment, oral appliance therapy can have side effects. These are often mild and infrequent and could include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Discomfort in the jaw and teeth
  • Excessive salivation
  • Temporary bite changes

Bottom Line

If you have stayed up all night, you know how lack of sleep can dampen your day. Sleep disorders such as apnea or snoring can leave you in a state of constant fatigue. Luckily, you can turn to oral appliance therapy as a safe, effective, and convenient treatment option.

Do you suffer from a sleep disorder? Contact Chase Dental Sleepcare to schedule an assessment with a certified dental sleep specialist.

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