According to the most recent Canadian Community Health Survey Approximately 858,900 Canadian adults have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. In addition, more than one-quarter of Canadian adults say they have symptoms and risk factors that put them at a higher risk of having sleep apnea or developing the condition in the future. There are several approaches to managing sleep apnea, including the help of a sleep clinic or weight loss, however, your dentist can also help you to manage the issue as well.
After receiving a diagnosis, it is well worth visiting your dentist to discuss the options available to you. Oral appliances are available to help manage sleep apnea and there are various options available depending on your current situation.
Mandibular advancement devices, or dental sleep devices, are the most commonly used oral appliances. These devices, which look like mouthguards, push the lower jaw forward. In this position, the muscles which collapse during apneas tighten so that they can’t fall down. Over time, oral appliances can help to rebuild muscle and help the airway become stronger and more rigid so that they can reduce or eliminate apneas. There are adjustable devices available too, which allow you to alter the position where the jaw sits and can help you to adjust the position as your treatment develops.
When you visit your dentist to discuss sleep apnea, your dentist will asses your teeth, mouth and temporomandibular joints, and determine whether you are a good candidate for the devices. If you are a suitable fit, a model of your teeth will be made to create the oral appliance specifically created for you. An incorrectly fitted device can cause more damage than good, so special care must be taken. Devices only need to be worn at night, and therefore are convenient and wont affect your day to day.
Tongue retaining devices are also an option that can help manage sleep apnea. These appliances hold your tongue in a certain position to help open the airways.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you manage your sleep apnea and see what treatment may be suitable for you.