During sleep, your mouth, jaw, and throat muscles naturally relax. But for patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, these muscles loosen too much. In fact, they become so loose, they block the airway. As a result, the collapsed muscle makes it difficult to breathe. Furthermore, the oxygen deprivation causes sufferers to wake up repeatedly throughout the night. This cycle can happen over and over again, hundreds of times. Therefore, patients with severe sleep apnea have a hard time getting quality sleep.
A common treatment for sleep apnea patients at Brunswick Smiles is CPAP. This stands for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP machine delivers compressed air through a face mask, nose mask, or nasal pillow. A tube connects the mask to the machine that creates a stream of pressure designed to keep the airway open. The steady pressure allows for normal breathing during sleep. However, 40 percent of sleep apnea patients fail to use the machine properly. What’s more, CPAP offers the following challenges:
While it may take some to get used to sleeping with a CPAP machine, there are several masks and devices available to meet your unique needs.
Advances in today’s dental technology have brought us custom oral appliance therapy, or OAT. This modern appliance shifts the jaw forward while a patient sleeps. As a result, the airway remains open for freer breathing.
For cases that do not require a CPAP machine or surgery, some patients achieve a full night’s sleep with a custom-fitted mouth appliance. This sleep apnea oral device will keep the airway open and allow for normal breathing. There are several options available at Brunswick Smiles to suit the needs of sleep apnea patients. What’s more, your dentist in Monmouth Junction will work with your doctor to determine the best way to help you get a healthy night’s sleep. Like with all of our procedures, the most conservative treatment is the goal for minor cases.