If you have sleep apnea, you know how much it can interfere with your daily life. From extreme daytime fatigue to difficulty concentrating to increased risk of chronic disease, sleep apnea causes real-world consequences that can be devastating. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is critical to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
Treating Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances in Ballston Spa, NY
Perhaps you have tried to get help for sleep apnea in the past but found that you couldn’t tolerate sleeping while hooked up to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) equipment. This is a common problem, and you’re far from alone if you struggle with it.
We believe in taking an individualized approach to treatment here at the Integrative Sleep Center. For many patients, oral appliances are an ideal sleep apnea solution. Your sleep specialist will recommend one of three specific types of oral appliances depending on the duration and severity of your sleep apnea symptoms.
Mandibular Advancement Device
Commonly abbreviated as MAD, the mandibular advancement device connects the lower and upper rows of teeth together. The result is slight pressure on the jaw that moves it forward as you sleep. Other names for the MAD are mandibular protrusion device and mandibular advancement splints. You put the device in your mouth right before going to sleep and remove it in the morning.
The Sleep Foundation reports that consistent use of MAD results in fewer incidents of paused breathing during the night. The device can also reduce episodes of daytime sleepiness and the volume of snoring.
Remember that you will have a period of adjustment when you first start wearing MAD to bed. A dry mouth is common, although some people have the opposite problem and produce excess saliva. Our staff is happy to help you troubleshoot solutions if these issues persist.
Rapid Maxillary Expansion
The RME device is exclusively for children with obstructive sleep apnea. Unlike the MAD worn only at night, this device should remain in the mouth 24 hours a day. RME expands the roof of a child’s mouth to open the airways. The device comes with a customized expander that fits over your child’s back teeth.
Manufacturers designed RME to permanently alter hard palates with a high arch or that are too narrow since both problems contribute to sleep apnea. According to the Sleep Foundation, approximately 75 percent of children experience significant symptom reduction and 25 percent see their sleep apnea disappear entirely.
The TDE pulls the tongue forward during sleep via suctioning force. You may also hear it referred to as a tongue-retaining device. While sleeping with this device in your mouth, the tip of your tongue sits on top of a small plastic bulb that protrudes slightly through your lips. Keeping the tongue in this position for several hours each night prevents it from blocking your airways and causing symptoms of sleep apnea.
Although TDE is prescribed less often than MAD, it produces similarly impressive results. The Sleep Foundation reports that people who wore this device regularly saw a marked decrease in sleep apnea symptoms, particularly daytime sleepiness.
You Don’t Have to Live with Sleep Apnea
Maybe you have avoided seeking sleep apnea treatment with oral appliances in Ballston Spa, NY, because you didn’t think your symptoms were that big of a deal. Now that they interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you know something must change. Please contact Integrative Sleep Center to request a time to come in and learn more about oral appliance treatment.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea: An Overview | Sleep Foundation