An Alternative when a CPAP Doesn’t Work for You: Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea
When treating Sleep Apnea, the CPAP is the best course of treatment but when compliance and comfort prevent you from using it it’s good to know that there are other less invasive options available. At Credit River Dental Centre, we are not only proud to provide both your family dentist and emergency dentist services, but also more advanced treatments for those who need them. One such area that we provide are sleep apnea treatments. According to a 2014 study performed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, over 5.4 million Canadians suffer from or are at risk of suffering from some form of obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that relates to the disruption of breathing periodically throughout the night due to physical obstructions of the airway while sleeping. When you sleep, the muscles in your mouth and throat relax - and for some people, these muscles, along with fatty tissues, relax to the point where they fall back into the upper airway and block the flow of oxygen coming in. When you stop breathing during the night, your brain responds by partially waking to send signals to the respiratory system to work harder to get past the obstruction. This leads to a disrupted sleep quality, which can in turn have effects on your overall health. If sleep apnea is not treated, you could face more severe long-term health complications such as high blood pressure, increased risk of diabetes, hormonal imbalance heart arrhythmias, heart disease, and/or stroke.
To help patients receive more oxygen into their body, sleep disorder specialists usually prescribe continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Although this is the most common form of treatment, not all patients are able to remain compliant with it. In fact, only 20% of patients are able to continue using their CPAP machine after two years of use. Some tend to complain of claustrophobia, dry nasal passages, skin irritation, difficulty tolerating pressurized areas, and accidentally removing the mask while tossing at night. For those who have a particularly difficult time using a CPAP (also known as CPAP rejects), and depending on the level of severity of their disorder, an alternative of an oral dental appliance may be beneficial as a substitute. A highly effective alternative used for mild to moderate sleep apnea treatment by dentists is known as a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD),which is one of several sleep apnea mouth devices that may be considered when dealing with sleep apnea.
What is a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) and How Does it Work?
A mandibular advancement device (MAD) is a sturdy, plastic oral device that fits over the upper and lower teeth similar to a mouthguard, but with a hinge connecting the two pieces together. The MAD limits airflow restriction by moving the jaw and tongue slightly forward, moving them away from the back of the throat. This allows an increase in space available in the upper airway to promote airflow. Most MADs are adjustable, allowing for dentists to fine-tune the position of the jaw for maximum effectiveness. Due to the comfort and convenience, the MAD has better patient adherence than the CPAP machine.
If you think that a mandibular advancement device might be right for you or if you want to improve your sleep quality, it might be time to consult with us about sleep apnea. For more information about Sleep Apnea and alternative devices click here.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can help with dental-focused treatment to aid in treating your condition. At Credit River Dental Centre, we offer form-fitted oral appliances tailored to your unique bite pattern and jaw size. For more information about our dental services or if you have any further questions or concerns regarding oral devices to treat sleep apnea in Mississauga, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (905)278-4297.