One of the treatment options for people with sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy. Sometimes, it is considered a good alternative to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) treatment. Every oral appliance is made to suit each patient. However, oral appliances are not suitable for everyone. Read on to find out if you are a good candidate for the treatment.
A good candidate for oral appliance therapy
Oral appliances are most effective for treating snoring and moderate to mild obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is caused by repeated obstruction to the airway. Airway obstruction can be due to many factors including a floppy or large tongue or excess tissue in a person’s throat. A person should ensure the condition is treated early to avoid the development of serious problems like heart failure, heart attacks and diabetes. Here are some of the factors that can determine if a patient is a good candidate for oral appliance therapy.
Dental and overall health
Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea are generally good candidates for oral appliances. However, if a person has severe sleep apnea, then the treatment option that is more likely to work is CPAP. These dental devices may not adequately control the condition compared to CPAP treatment. Oral appliances are not a good choice if a person has significant heart disease or is usually very sleepy during the day. CPAP in such cases is also more appropriate. Oral appliance therapy will also not be recommended for people whose teeth are in poor condition or who do not have their natural teeth.
Snoring is a common problem associated with sleep apnea. People with snoring problems can benefit from using oral appliances. Oral appliances help to push or pull the jaw forward. This helps to keep the tongue in an ideal position, which ensures it does not block the airway. As a result, this minimizes the risk of snoring. If the devices work well, the sound of snoring will be completely gone or reduced.
People who are intolerant to CPAP Treatment
Some people cannot tolerate CPAP treatment. Patients who are dissatisfied with CPAP treatment can opt for oral appliances. The use of these devices is a better option than no treatment at all. Oral appliances can also be recommended for people who have not been helped by CPAP.
Although oral appliances are a good choice for treating sleep apnea, they are not suitable for everyone. These dental devices are often recommended by doctors for mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring issues. A good candidate should have all the natural teeth and the teeth should be in good condition. Oral appliance therapy can be a good solution for people who cannot tolerate CPAP or if it has not worked. The devices are also not appropriate for people with significant heart disease or who are extremely sleepy during the day. You should consult a doctor who is qualified to treat sleep apnea if you want to find out if you are a good candidate for an oral appliance.
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