SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ, CA
Sleep apnea is a sleep-breathing disorder affecting millions of people. It occurs with soft tissue in the airway collapsing or completely blocking airflow, resulting in vibration sounds or snoring when attempting to breathe. Untreated sleep apnea is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular events, stroke, and cognitive decline, according to studies. Therefore, treating sleep apnea is essential to your health and even your life. If you have sleep apnea or think that you do, you might wonder if there is a cure for it. So today on the blog, airway dentists in Scotts Valley answer the question, can you get rid of sleep apnea?
Can sleep apnea be cured?
Unfortunately, most cases of sleep apnea cannot be cured, depending on the precise cause of the airway blockage. Sometimes, surgery may be helpful by removing enlarged tonsils or adenoids or repairing a deviated septum. Additionally, losing weight can help decrease fat around the neck in overweight individuals, relieving their sleep apnea. However, curing sleep apnea is not always possible. But ignoring your condition isn’t an option either. Scotts Valley neuromuscular dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry offer a simple solution to manage sleep apnea and help you stop snoring.
How is sleep apnea managed?
Traditionally, a CPAP machine is prescribed for patients with sleep apnea. A CPAP works by wearing a mask over your mouth and nose. The mask has a hose attached to a machine calibrated to your specific breathing needs. An individual wears the mask while sleeping as the machine forces air into their airways. While effective, many CPAP users discontinue using their device because it is reportedly uncomfortable, noisy, and cumbersome (especially when traveling). Thankfully, there is an alternative treatment for sleep apnea and snoring known as oral appliance therapy.
What is oral appliance therapy?
Oral appliance therapy involves wearing a custom-made oral orthotic (similar to a nightguard) that slightly repositions your lower jaw into a forward position and gently holds the tongue against the roof of the mouth. This treatment works because it prevents the lower jaw from becoming recessed and keeps the tongue from sliding back and blocking the throat and airways.
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
If you have sleep apnea and dislike the idea of using a CPAP machine, ask our Scotts Valley dentists that treat sleep apnea if oral appliance therapy is right for you. Patients are surprised to learn about the many benefits of this solution for snoring.
- Convenient – Oral appliances for sleep apnea are convenient because it fits in your mouth comfortably and does not require electricity like a CPAP machine. This makes overnight stays and traveling convenient since you won’t have to worry about accessing an electrical outlet.
- Small – The appliance is custom-made and similar in size to a nightguard. Therefore, it is quite small and fits in luggage, your purse, or a briefcase when traveling or staying the night away from home.
- Low-Maintenance – Unlike a CPAP machine that is known to harbor mold and mildew and is difficult to clean, oral appliances are low-maintenance. Simply remove your orthotic when you wake up, clean it with a mild solution (avoid abrasive cleaners), and then store it in the protective case provided. An occasional soak using a denture cleaner may help reduce odors and staining long-term.
- Noise-Free – Perhaps one of the most notable benefits of oral appliance therapy is that it does not make noise. This is exceptionally ideal for sleep apnea sufferers that share a bed with a partner. While CPAP machines are effective, many users complain that it is noisy and disrupts their partner’s sleep. Therefore, oral appliance therapy may be a perfect option for you if you’re looking for a noise-free option to treat snoring.
- Discreet – A CPAP machine is anything but discreet, which may cause embarrassment if you have someone stay over. However, oral appliances that treat sleep apnea are mostly hidden since it fits inside your mouth, out of sight.
Sleep Apnea Dentists in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz, California
If you’re looking for a natural way to treat sleep apnea or find a solution to help you stop snoring, ask our Scotts Valley sleep apnea dentist if oral appliance therapy is right for you. We also offer airway assessments to determine your risk of sleep-breathing disorders if you’ve yet to receive an official diagnosis for sleep apnea. To schedule a consultation or learn more, please call Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry today at (831) 438-4411.