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Sleep Apnea

Choosing the Right Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard: Factors to Consider

By March 1, 2024March 19th, 2024No Comments

If you’re tossing and turning at night, battling with sleep apnea, trust us, you’re not alone. We completely get how tough it can be. On our own journey to finding peace in the land of nod, we stumbled upon a beacon of hope: mouth guards.

These little lifesavers have become a go-to for many facing similar nighttime woes. In this guide, we’ll walk you through picking out the perfect sleep apnea mouth guard tailored to your needs – because everyone deserves a good night’s rest.

Ready to turn those zzz’s into reality?

Understanding Sleep Apnea and How Mouth Guards Can Help

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. These pauses can last for a few seconds to minutes and may occur multiple times throughout the night.

3 Types of Sleep Apnea

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax excessively, causing the airway to become blocked or narrowed during sleep.
  2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): Happens when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles responsible for breathing, resulting in interrupted breathing patterns during sleep.
  3. Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CompSA): Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, CompSA occurs when a person with OSA develops central sleep apnea after starting continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

Causes of Sleep Apnea

  1. Excess body weight can lead to fat deposits around the neck area, making it harder for air to flow freely during sleep.
  2. Natural narrowing of the airway, which might be due to genetic factors or conditions such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids in children.
  3. Regular alcohol consumption relaxes throat muscles more than usual, blocking the airway during sleep
  4. Smoking inflames and narrows the air passage over time.

Signs of You May Have Sleep Apnea

  • Morning headaches
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating

Take Our Quiz to Assess Your Risk for Sleep Apnea

We created a quiz to help you assess your risk for sleep apnea, considering the increasing popularity of mouth guards as a treatment option. This short yet comprehensive quiz guides you through a series of questions about your sleeping habits, lifestyle, and health conditions related to obstructive sleep apnea.

Taking this quiz gives you insight into whether you might benefit from oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea or other treatments like CPAP alternatives.

After completing the quiz, we suggest discussing your results with a healthcare provider. They can offer further evaluation and determine if a sleep apnea dental appliance or another snoring solution is right for managing your condition.

At-Home Sleep Apnea Tests

This sleep study allows you to monitor your breathing and other body functions overnight from the comfort of your own home. Equipped with sensors and easy-to-follow instructions, they track data that helps determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea.

We send this data to a professional for analysis. Soon after, you receive comprehensive results that guide us on how to proceed with treatment, whether it’s considering CPAP alternatives or exploring oral appliances for sleep apnea like mouth guards.

Possible Effects of Severe Sleep Apnea

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Heart disease
  3. Diabetes
  4. Stroke
  5. Memory and cognitive impairment
  6. Metabolic disorders
  7.  Daytime fatigue
  8. Heart attack

Common Types of Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs)

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) are a popular choice for treating obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. These devices work by gently pushing the lower jaw forward, which helps keep the airway open during sleep.

This simple but effective mechanism can greatly reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea for many people. MADs are often considered an excellent alternative to CPAP therapy, especially for those dealing with mild to moderate conditions.

Tongue-Retaining Devices (TRDs)

Tongue-Retaining Devices (TRDs) hold your tongue in a forward position to keep the airway open while you sleep. This approach can be particularly effective for people whose sleep apnea is primarily caused by their tongue falling back and blocking their throat during sleep.

TRDs are a type of oral appliance for sleep apnea that many find to be a comfortable CPAP alternative, especially if they struggle with masks or machines.

Soft Palate Lifters

Soft palate lifters are a unique option in the oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea landscape. These dental devices help by lifting the soft palate, ensuring that the airway remains open while one sleeps.

This approach targets snoring and obstructive sleep apnea caused by the soft palate collapsing and blocking airflow during sleep.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard

Effectiveness and Safety

The effectiveness of these oral appliances can vary from person to person, making it crucial to work closely with healthcare providers to find the best option for your needs.

Oral devices for sleep apnea, such as CPAP alternative mouth guards or anti-snoring devices, are considered safe and increasingly popular treatment for sleep apnea. They serve not only those with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, but also individuals struggling with snoring and teeth grinding.

Safety is our top priority, ensuring every sleep apnea dental appliance we recommend has undergone thorough testing and approval by relevant health authorities. We make sure that each mandibular advancement device or any other type of mouthpiece for sleep apnea you consider is customizable by qualified dental professionals.

Personalized Fit and Comfort

A personalized fit and comfort are crucial when opting for a sleep apnea mouth guard. These oral appliances need to feel like they’re part of you, ensuring no discomfort disrupts your sleep further.

Qualified dental sleep specialists must customize your snoring mouth guard or mandibular advancement device to match the unique contours of your teeth and jaw. This precision ensures that the device effectively addresses your sleep apnea symptoms while maintaining maximum comfort throughout the night.

Getting the right size and shape is just the start. Comfort extends to how well you adapt to wearing the oral appliance nightly. Some individuals may experience minor discomfort or saliva buildup initially, but these issues typically decrease as one gets used to their new sleep companion.

Monitoring Effectiveness

We closely track the performance of sleep apnea mouth guards to ensure they meet your needs. This involves regular check-ins with a healthcare provider who can evaluate the device’s effectiveness in treating symptoms like snoring and breathing interruptions during sleep.

Feedback from these sessions helps us make any necessary adjustments for better comfort and efficiency. We also encourage users to monitor their sleep quality and report any improvements or ongoing issues.

Timing of Use

Considering the timing of use for a sleep apnea mouth guard is crucial. You’ll need to wear it every night to ensure its effectiveness in treating symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring, and even teeth grinding.

Some users might also find it beneficial during naps if their symptoms are severe enough. Consistency is key, as intermittent use can lead to a return of symptoms and diminish the overall benefits.

Protect Your Smile: Get Fitted for a Custom Mouthguard Today!

We’ve walked you through how to select the right sleep apnea mouth guard, focusing on types and crucial considerations. These options offer practical solutions tailored to individual needs and symptoms.

Highlighting their potential as alternatives to CPAP therapy showcases the impact they can have on improving sleep quality. For those seeking further guidance, consulting with a healthcare provider is always recommended.

Take this step towards better sleep; your health could significantly benefit from finding the perfect fit. Embrace this opportunity for a restful night’s sleep and enhanced well-being by booking a consultation with Auburn Dental Center today!