As a sleep apnea dentist, we are compassionate towards those that struggle to get a good nights sleep. Being overly fatigued can negatively impact all areas of life including physical health and areas such a blood pressure. Often, difficulty sleeping is actually caused by obstructive sleep apnea, a major health condition impacting around 18 million Americans each year. Obstructive sleep apnea takes place when the jaw slips backwards at night. As it does so, the tongue falls backwards as well, and the airways are blocked. With this obstruction, people struggle to capture breath and end up spending the night gasping for air. This is often what causes snoring sounds.
A Solution to Difficulty Sleeping
In order to solve the problem, we can create a removable oral appliance that can be worn at night. This device is as small as a full retainer would be, covering both the upper and lower teeth. It surrounds the teeth entirely then hooks together in order to hold the jaw in place. As a result, the jaw is unable to move, and the tongue is also forced to stay forward. Unable to fall backwards, the tongue cannot block the airways, and our patients are able to breathe clearly, some for the first time in years.
Compared to a CPAP Machine
As a sleep apnea dentist in Tucson, we take joy in improving our patient’s quality of life. The ability to sleep soundly while breathing appropriately is all possible when using a removable oral appliance and given how small they are, the device is also comfortable. When comparing our solution to a CPAP machine (another solution for obstructive sleep apnea), it is abundantly clear how much more convenient a removable oral appliance can be. A CPAP machine can be noisy, bulky and uncomfortable, leading many people to forgo using it in favor for sleeping with less air, but sleeping comfortably. This is not recommended because, without oxygen, people can suffer from high blood pressure and heart problems.
The National Highway Safety Administration provides another reason to ensure a good night’s sleep. They estimate that approximately 100,000 car accidents are caused on an annual basis by drivers that were tired or drowsy. Some police officers have compared the effects of driving while tired with driving while intoxicated – the effects are that significant. Those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, are at a distinct risk for being exhausted and driving while drowsy, thereby increasing their risk of getting into a car accident. By simply wearing a removable oral appliance and getting restful sleep, patients can wake up feeling rested and reduce or eliminate the risk of getting into a car wreck due to fatigue.
In our Tucson sleep apnea dentist office, we are frequently asked whether or not treating sleep apnea is important. We are confident that it is incredibly important to have the condition treated due to the risk that it poses to a person’s health during sleep and during the day. In addition to increasing the risk of getting into a car wreck, raising blood pressure, and contributing to heart problems, a lack of sleep can also make it difficult to engage in normal social activities, creating an all-encompassing need to seek a solution – one that we provide.