What Is a Custom Oral Appliance?
A custom oral appliance can be used to address several dental conditions, such as bruxism (teeth grinding), TMJ disorder, and sleep apnea. Mouth guards can even be used to protect the teeth from injury during sporting events. Each appliance is designed to fit your unique anatomy and specific dental needs.
A sleep apnea mouth guard can often achieve the same results as a CPAP device.
A mouth guard for sleep apnea fits comfortably and snugly over your teeth and helps open your airway for optimal breathing. To fabricate this type of oral appliance, impressions will be taken. These molds will be sent to our partner dental lab, where an experienced technician will craft your new mouth guard.
How Does a Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard Work?
The position of your jaw plays a significant role in proper breathing. A sleep apnea mouth guard can bring the lower jaw forward, placing it in a more favorable location. This effectively tightens drooping soft tissues and opens the airway to reduce symptoms of obstruction. In addition, this type of custom oral appliance holds the tongue, preventing it from falling backwards over the airway.
Benefits of a Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard
In years past, CPAP devices were the most popular option for treating sleep apnea. These machines deliver a steady stream of air through a face mask, keeping the throat and airway open. Although CPAP units are incredibly effective, many patients are unable to sleep comfortably while wearing this device.
In comparison, a sleep apnea mouth guard can often achieve the same results without the need for CPAP. Although a custom oral appliance may require a short adjustment period, most patients acclimate to their mouth guards within one week. Other benefits include:
- Comfort: When carefully crafted, oral appliances are sleek, comfortable, and easy to wear. For this reason, patients typically become accustomed to their mouth guards faster than any other alternative.
- Effectiveness: For individuals with mild to moderate sleep apnea, a custom mouth guard can significantly reduce or eliminate sleep apnea symptoms such as daytime fatigue, headaches, snoring, and more.
- Non-invasive: Compared to CPAP or oral surgery, a mouth guard for sleep apnea is non-invasive. Additionally, it can be crafted fairly quickly, offering patients a fast solution.
- Convenient: Since oral appliances are small and compact, they are convenient when traveling, especially compared to bulky CPAP devices.
- High success rate: Mouth guards for sleep apnea have an impressively high success rate. While CPAP units can cause claustrophobia, discomfort, or dry, stuffy noses, oral appliances can eliminate these side effects.
Dr. Turner has provided sleep apnea solutions to a number of Kansas City, MO-area patients. During a consultation at our practice, he can help you determine if oral appliance therapy is right for you.
Learn More about Custom Oral Appliances
If you are suffering from the symptoms of sleep apnea, or looking for an alternative to CPAP therapy, an oral appliance could be the solution. To explore your treatment options, schedule a visit to our practice. Call us at (816) 229-1433 or contact us online.