4 Common Questions About Sleep Apnea And Custom Appliances To Treat It

12 October 2021
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Do you suffer from sleep apnea and are considering having a dentist make you a custom appliance to help deal with it? If so, you'll likely have the following questions about this medical condition.

What Is Happening When You Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can best be described as an episode during the night where you are not breathing while you are asleep. The tongue essentially goes to the back of the throat and can cut off oxygen to the brain, which can lead to being woken up. In addition, there are many health ailments that can happen to those that have sleep apnea, since untreated sleep apnea can sometimes amplify other conditions. 

What Are Custom Sleep Apnea Appliances?

An oral sleep apnea appliance is ideal for those people that cannot tolerate a CPAP machine. It helps adjust the position of your mouth so that you have open airways, and can help you sleep better and even decrease snoring. The most common type of dental appliance has a top and bottom component that snaps onto your teeth, and it works by moving your lower jaw forward so it moves your tongue out of the way and doesn't go toward the back of your throat. 

Are Custom Sleep Apnea Appliances For Everyone?

Be aware that, if you have severe sleep apnea, a dental appliance may not be for you. A CPAP machine will be your best bet for opening your airways and helping you sleep at night. This is because it is pushing a stream of air down your throat to prevent you from having an apnea episode in the middle of the night. If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, then a dental appliance can be a great alternative to a CPAP machine that will be much more tolerable to you

What Are The Advantages Of A Custom Dental Appliance?

One of the nice things about using a custom appliance is that there is no mask or hose that is attached to your face, which gives you a lot more flexibility while you are sleeping. You can turn over, sleep on your side or stomach, and get up to use the restroom without worrying about a CPAP machine. It also makes it easier for those with facial hair to deal with sleep apnea, because you don't have a mask that needs to fit over your face. 

Reach out to your dentist for more information on a custom sleep apnea dental appliance.