Millions of adults in the U.S. are affected by a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. The condition is characterized by disruptive snoring and brief pauses in breathing throughout the night. If you are affected by snoring and sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy could help you achieve more restful sleep. At Denver Sleep Apnea Center in Denver, CO, Dr. Steven Wilk, our sleep apnea dentist, sleep dentist, and snoring dentist for sleep disorders can have an oral appliance custom-made for you.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder in which the airway becomes temporarily blocked while sleeping, which results in brief pauses in breathing. A blocked airway is often due to the relaxing of the muscles in the throat that support the tongue and soft palate. As these muscles relax, the soft tissues collapse across the airway and interfere with breathing.
Collapsed tissues across the airway can also cause snoring. As a person breathes in and out, the tissues tend to vibrate. The vibration produces the sound heard when someone snores. Disruptive snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Other symptoms include:
- Brief pauses in breathing while sleeping
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Feeling unrested upon waking
- Frequent headaches upon waking
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
- Feeling sleepy throughout the day
- Feeling irritable throughout the day
Oral Appliance Therapy
The traditional method for treating sleep apnea and its associated symptoms, such as snoring, is CPAP therapy. Some patients find this treatment method a bit cumbersome as it involves wearing a sleep mask connected to a machine while sleeping. The machine delivers consistent air pressure to prevent the tissues in the throat from collapsing and blocking the airway.
An exciting and less cumbersome alternative to CPAP therapy is oral appliance therapy, which is available through a sleep apnea dentist, sleep dentist, or snoring dentist who treats sleep disorders, like the one at our Denver, CO, practice.
Oral appliance therapy uses a small device that looks similar to a mouthguard. The device is custom-made for a perfect fit and is worn in the mouth while sleeping. The oral appliance positions the tongue and lower jaw properly so no tissues collapse across the airway, which prevents breathing from being obstructed and helps stop snoring.
Oral appliance therapy can help you stop snoring and sleep better. To learn more about this exciting method for treating snoring and sleep disorders, schedule an appointment with Dr. Wilk, our skilled Sleep Apnea Dentist, Sleep Dentist, Snoring Dentist, and Sleep Disorder dentist, by calling Denver Sleep Apnea Center in Denver, CO, at (303) 758-4865.