Mouthguards for Sleep Apnea: How a Custom Mouthguard Can Help You Get a Good Night's Rest

Jun 14, 2023

Have you been diagnosed with (OSA) obstructive sleep apnea a condition that relaxes the muscles around your tongue and throat to restrict airflow to your lungs when you sleep? You can discuss many treatment options with your doctor or dentist near you. Doctors prefer to treat sleep apnea with continuous positive air pressure (CPAP), and the dentist provides an oral appliance similar to a mouthguard to alleviate the problems caused by sleep apnea.

What Is a Mouthguard for Sleep Apnea?

If the problem affecting you is mild to moderate and you cannot tolerate or haven’t received help from your doctor with a CPAP device, you can request your dentist for a remedy with a mouthguard for sleep apnea. The device requires a dentist or orthodontist fitting and must be worn at night and sleeping. There are two types of mouthguards for sleep apnea. There are

  • Mandibular Advancement Device (MADs): a widely used mouthguard; is a mandibular advancement device or MAD, which appears similar to an athletic mouthguard. However, the instrument snaps over the upper and lower dental arches with metal hinges making it possible for the lower jaw to ease forward. Some devices, such as the Thornton adjustable positioner, permit you to control the degree of advancement.
  • Tongue Retaining Device: tongue retaining devices are less commonly used than MAD’s, functioning like a splint to hold the tongue in place, keeping the airway open.

If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea and sleep on your back or stomach, mouthguards for sleep apnea can help reduce the frequency and the loudness of snoring. In addition, you may find these devices more comfortable to use than the CPAP instrument.

What to Expect During the Fitting Process?

If you are affected by the problem of snoring that prevents you from having a good night’s rest and seeing the dentist in Colombia for a remedy, expect to get your condition evaluated by a sleep medicine specialist to determine the severity of the problem.

When you visit the sleep medicine specialist, they suggest an overnight sleep test using the polysomnography test with tubes attached to your body. They will measure your body movements, including your heart rate, snoring loudness, and other parameters to determine the condition’s severity. After evaluating the polysomnography test, the sleep medicine specialist will report to the Columbia dentist about your situation.

After receiving a report from the sleep medicine specialist and if you are affected by mild or moderate sleep apnea, the Columbia dentist suggests mouthguards in Colombia as an effective remedy for the problem you confront.

Dental appliances like mouthguards near you provided by dentists control sleep apnea over the long term compared to other standard surgical procedures surgeons perform to remove the soft tissue from the rear of the throat. Most importantly, mouthguards near you are comfortable and portable, unlike the CPAP device that requires strapping your nose and mouth to be held by straps when sleeping. Although the CPAP device is considered the gold standard for sleep apnea, it is less tolerated by people who feel it confines them by the face mask and leaves them with nasal congestion and runny nose, irritation, and sores besides stomach bloating and chest muscle discomfort. In contrast, mouthguards for sleep apnea sit comfortably over your teeth, keeping your airway open and permitting you to have a good night’s rest without discomfort.

Caring for Your Mouthguard

When diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea and suggested a custom mouthguard created by the dentist costing more dollars than affordable over-the-counter dental appliances, they may encourage you to purchase them instead of investing in an expensive device. However, you are responsible for understanding you invest in an oral appliance to overcome a medical problem that prevents you and your bed partner from sleeping comfortably because of your loud snoring. Therefore you must invest in the oral appliance suggested by the dentist without considering mouthguards near you available in drugstores or sports goods stores.

After getting a dental mouthguard for sleep apnea, you should have an examination early to determine whether the appliance is working and periodic checkups for adjustments or replacement if required from the dentist. If you experience discomfort or changes to your bite, the dentist fitting the device can make modifications to correct the problem.

Besides the above, you must ensure you clean the mouthguard after every use and store it in the storage case provided by the dentist. Cleaning the mouthguard before wearing it is also essential to prevent bacteria from entering your mouth with the appliance to create infections.

The optimal treatment for sleep apnea depends on various factors, including the severity of the problem. In addition, the physical structure of the upper airway and other medical issues you may have and your personal preference will determine whether you receive a recommendation for a CPAP device or a mouthguard for sleep apnea from the Columbia dentist. Therefore you must work with the dentist to determine which treatment best suits your needs.

If you are diagnosed as affected by OSA, Kids First Dental — Columbia provides custom-made mouthguards to help alleviate your problem. Consult them as soon as possible to help you overcome a condition that can affect your sleep and overall health.

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