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Who Can Benefit From a Dental Device for Sleep Apnea?

Aug 08, 2023
Who Can Benefit From a Dental Device for Sleep Apnea?
Breathing is one of the most important things our bodies do, and conditions that compromise it as we sleep create problems in our waking life. If your breathing problems come from sleep apnea, find out how dental devices can help.

Despite it not being good for your health, there are a lot of things you can go without for a surprisingly long period of time. Eating and drinking, for instance, is something you should be doing daily, but people have been known to live without them for as long as 21 days under specific conditions! One thing you can’t go extended periods without however is breathing. As much as we need the nutrients from food and drink to live, our cells need oxygen constantly, and not getting enough can do permanent damage to our bodies.

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects our breathing while sleeping, when we have the least amount of control over what our bodies do. It can happen at any age and frequently goes undiagnosed, but is treatable in a variety of ways including using dental devices. To best determine who can benefit from dental devices for sleep apnea, let’s look at the basics of the condition, the devices available, and who can get the most out of using it.

If you live in Frisco, Texas, and you’re struggling with problems getting rest due to sleep apnea, Dr. Alecia Hardy and her trained medical staff at Frisco Dental Implant Center can help you get better rest.

Sleep apnea basics

Sleep apnea literally causes you to stop breathing for short periods of time as you rest, either due to a blockage in your airway (referred to as obstructive sleep apnea) or because of problems your brain has controlling your breathing while asleep (central sleep apnea).

Your body goes through several stages of sleep during the night, and when you stop breathing with sleep apnea your blood oxygen levels drop, forcing you to wake up and disturb that cycle. This makes it difficult to get adequate rest, and leads to daytime drowsiness, snoring, mood changes, unusual breathing patterns, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction.

Dental devices available

There are several different types of dental devices available for sleep apnea, including:

  • Mandibular advancement device (MAD): Also referred to as mandibular advancement splints, this moves the base of your tongue forward to open your upper airway.

People that can benefit from these devices

These devices are well suited for people who don’t tolerate the industry-standard continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines well for treating obstructive sleep apnea specifically. Dental devices are solid choices for long-term use, but will likely need adjusting and refitting periodically. The MAD device is a solid option for children with mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea and can adjust the anatomy of children with narrower high-arched hard palates permanently.

If you struggle with sleep apnea and need help getting better sleep, make an appointment with Dr. Hardy and the team at Frisco Dental Implant Center today.