Oral Appliance Therapy
Here at Geelan Dental Care we specialize in the treatment of snoring and mild sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition whereby a person becomes unable to breathe regularly when asleep. Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. With obstructive sleep apnea, the person suffers constriction of the upper respiratory tract that partially or completely blocks off airflow. This causes the brain to trigger short periods of wakefulness that forces the person to gasp for air.
Oral appliance therapy involves the use of removable dental devices to help keep the airways open and promote better sleep. These devices are designed to keep the tongue and lower jaw in a forward position so that there is no collapsing inwards or covering up of the upper respiratory channel.
Why Oral Appliances?
When a person suffers from snoring and sleep apnea, they do not get to enjoy a proper night’s rest. This results in daytime fatigue and increases the risk of developing heart and liver-related complications. The snoring component can also badly affect personal relationships as domestic partners, or other family members can also suffer disrupted sleep from the noise. Oral therapy appliances are used to help resolve the breathing problems of apnea and cut down on snoring. There are two main types of non-invasive oral devices that are prescribed for this condition.
Mandibular Repositioning Devices
Also known as mandibular advancement devices (MAD), these are custom made oral appliances that are similar to the mouthguard or orthodontic retainer in design. The devices enclose over the upper and lower row of teeth. They have hinges that help to hold the lower jaw in a forward position. Depending on the design, you may have the ability to adjust how far the lower jaw is eased forward. Even for those that do not permit adjusting, regular checkups with our team will ensure it still fits comfortably.
Tongue Retaining Device
TRDs, also called tongue stabilizing devices (TSDs), are a simpler alternative to MRDs. This is because they can be bought off the shelf and used without the need for customization. They are also a good option for those who suffer jaw pain or soreness when using MRDs. As the name suggests, this kind of devices focuses on keeping the tongue in a fixed forward position for the duration of sleep. It works by having the user push the tongue through the opening into the bubble chamber of the device. Once inside the bubble, the pressure of the device holds the tongue in its forward position and away from the back of the throat. This keeps the airway open and allows for comfortable uninterrupted sleep.
The simplicity and lower cost of oral therapy appliances make them a popular option for many snoring and sleep apnea sufferers. The devices are compact in size and still highly effective. There are, however, various brands with minor differences in design that make it advisable to consult with us on which device to choose. We can help you find the right oral therapy appliance to solve your snoring and sleep apnea problems. Get in touch with us at Geelan Dental Care at (971) 323-1990 today and make an appointment to see one of our team.