What Is Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea?

What Is Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea?

You might have been told that a CPAP machine is necessary for you to treat your sleep apnea, but you might have also heard about an alternative in oral appliance therapy. It can be more comfortable for many patients, but there are many more benefits to it than just that! Let’s take a closer look at what oral appliance therapy is, it’s a benefit, and what you need to know about treating sleep apnea.

What should I know about sleep apnea?

If you or a loved one has sleep apnea, then you likely already know how significantly it can affect your life and how serious it can be if it isn’t treated well. Sleep apnea occurs during sleep when there is a blockage in or collapse of the airway that’s caused by muscles in the throat or jaw relaxing too much. This leads to repeated stoppages in breathing, and this, in turn, can lead to serious health issues like hypertension and even heart disease.

Treating sleep apnea is certainly possible, but it depends on the patient’s particular case. Also, patients’ lifestyle needs should be considered too, and this can affect which treatment a professional will recommend.

What is the treatment for sleep apnea?

The traditional treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy with a CPAP machine. The machine works by delivering a steady stream of air into a patient’s airway to help the patient breathe better during sleep. This works well for many patients, but not for all. The machine tends to be big, bulky, and loud, as well as pretty uncomfortable to use because the patient has to wear a mask or nose piece during their sleep. Often, it’s easier for the patient to sleep with and treat their sleep apnea with a simple oral appliance.

In fact, many cases of sleep apnea can be addressed with an oral appliance. For example, sleep apnea with TMJ (jaw joint) disorder can be fixed with an oral appliance. Because the appliance is custom-made, comfortable, and convenient to use, many patients prefer it over other methods for treating their sleep apnea, and it can address other issues too, such as patients’ facial pain. We provide oral appliances here at Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders.

So what is oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea?

Sleeping with an oral appliance and treating sleep apnea this way is oral appliance therapy. This is quite comfortable for patients, especially since it can prevent the uncomfortable symptoms of sleep apnea and actually prevent it entirely. It’s also comfortable because the appliance itself is customized for the patient’s oral anatomy, and it helps the jaw, tongue, and airway rest naturally. In addition to that, the appliance is easy to use and manage. It’s also easy to clean and maintain!

Oral appliance therapy works, and it works naturally to prevent many of the common conditions that cause sleep apnea in the first place. In fact, oral appliance therapy is a proven method approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. In about 3 months of oral appliance therapy, many patients will be 90% symptom-free. You could easily be one of these patients. If it sounds like oral appliance therapy could work for you, we think so too. Get in touch with us today for a simple consultation so we can tell you anything else you’d like to know about oral appliance therapy, its benefits, and whether it would work for you!

Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders has locations throughout Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin, so please visit our Locations page for these locations’ addresses and contact information. Alternatively, you can simply call us at (855) 977-0400, and we’ll help you find the location nearest you. Get in touch with us today to book your consultation and learn everything we know about oral appliance therapy!