One way to improve a person’s breathing throughout the night is through the use a specialized mouth guard. Known as a “mandibular advancement device” (MAD), this custom made mouth guard is worn through the night to pull the jaw forward, opening up the airway.
Rather than resorting to surgical treatments that would remove blockage in the throat, the use of a nighttime mouth guard can relieve sleep apnea to restore your sleep quality and prevent the risks associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway becomes blocked by the soft tissues in your throat. When these muscles relax, during sleep for instance, they may narrow or entirely close the airway which prevents breathing.
Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, but more severe cases may involve no snoring at all. As the airway becomes blocked breathing may be stopped completely for a period of time, meaning there is no sound involved at all. This can be dangerous since it may be difficult to detect until symptoms become more severe.
Some of the symptoms that may indicate a case of obstructive sleep apnea include:
Testing for sleep apnea is best done through a sleep study. Sleep studies involve using sensors placed on the body to monitor a person’s REM sleep rhythms and breathing throughout the night. This method shows whether there are periods of sleep disturbance throughout the night and whether this is related to person’s breathing.
On average, people who receive treatment for sleep apnea increase their lifespan by 20 years and live a much higher quality of life. If you have any symptoms or any of the previously mentioned conditions, it is extremely important that you get tested and treated.
The most common treatment for OSA is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. While many people do well with CPAP, there are also many people who struggle with it.
The good news is that we have an alternative treatment — we offer custom oral appliance therapy right here at our practice.
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10230 New Hampshire Avenue, Suite 330 :: Silver Spring MD 20903
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