If you suffer from sleep apnea, you're repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night because something is blocking your upper airway. Often, the brain will wake you up enough to clear the obstruction, but not enough for you to consciously be aware that you're awake.
Often, this is caused by the muscles at the top of the throat relaxing so much that they fall over the airway, blocking it. Your tongue can also fall back in your throat, making it hard to breathe. In the morning, you're exhausted, and you may have no idea why. Fortunately, in most cases, sleep apnea is completely treatable.
Use of Breathing Machines
One of the treatments many people are familiar with is the use of breathing machines such as CPAP devices. These devices continually blow pressurized air into your mouth. They are effective, but they also involve wearing a mask at night. The noise of the machine can also take some time to get used to. Between that and the discomfort of the mask, it can take some time to get used to using a breathing machine.
A better option is the use of an oral device to treat sleep apnea. There are dozens of different oral devices that have been approved for treating sleep apnea. They look very similar to mouth guards you might wear while playing sports. These devices support the upper tissue in your mouth and hold the tongue in position, preventing both from obstructing your airway. They push the lower jaw out just a little in order to do this.
While it might take a few nights to get used to wearing the device, they do have a number of advantages over CPAP machines. They're quiet, much easier to use, and are more comfortable than the mask. These devices also don't bother your partner, and you can easily take them with you on trips.
Want to know more about using oral devices to treat sleep apnea? Give us a call today, and we'll have you getting a good night's rest in no time!
ORAL SURGERY SPECIALISTS OF AUSTIN
Derrick Flint, MD, DDS | Matthew Largent, MD, DDS