Dr. Vernon Sheen and our team at our Annapolis, MD dentist office offer innovative solutions for patients that have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep; this occurs when the soft tissue in a person’s throat collapses and blocks airflow through the airway.
In some instances, a person with sleep apnea may wake up gasping for air. The effects of obstructive sleep apnea may cause daytime sleepiness, reoccurring headaches, and snoring. Snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea.
When left untreated, OSA may increase a patient’s risk of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Morning headaches
- High blood pressure
- Memory loss
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring is one of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea. Before receiving treatment for sleep apnea, it is important to receive a proper diagnosis from your physician.
Depending on your needs, you may be an ideal candidate for oral appliance therapy. Traditionally, sleep apnea and snoring are addressed using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. While many patients find CPAP therapy effective, other patients seek an alternative solution to the CPAP machine.
Many patients opt for oral appliance therapy because it offers a more comfortable and convenient solution for sleep apnea treatment. An oral appliance is similar to a mouthguard and is designed to open the airway during sleep, which allows patients to breathe more efficiently.
Who Should Use Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is ideal for patients with mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, oral appliance therapy may be right for patients in these situations:
- Seeking an alternative to the CPAP machine
- Cannot tolerate the CPAP machine
- Have exhausted all other treatment options
Oral Appliance Therapy in Annapolis, MD
Is oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea right for you?
Let Dr. Sheen and our dental care team work with you to explore your treatment options. As an experienced dentist in Annapolis, MD, Dr. Sheen offers comprehensive, high-quality solutions for many common dental concerns. He takes a personalized approach to patient care to ensure our patients are receiving treatment plans that are right for them.
As mentioned, for patients with sleep apnea, we may recommend oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance for sleep apnea is sometimes referred to as a sleep guard and is worn in the mouth only during sleep; it is designed to prevent the soft tissues in the airway from collapsing, and it helps position the jaw in a forward position to allow for proper airflow.
Our team can examine your mouth and airway during a consultation at our Annapolis dentist office. If sleep appliance therapy is right for you, we will take impressions of your mouth and use your impressions and information gathered from your consultation for the fabrication of your sleep guard. During your final appointment, Dr. Sheen will fit your new oral appliance, discuss usage instructions, and answer any questions you may regarding your treatment.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
What causes snoring?
Vibrations in your throat and airway cause snoring. During sleep, the muscles in the back of your mouth become relaxed. They can vibrate as air passes over them and, in some cases, partially obstruct your airway. As airflow becomes more difficult, snoring becomes louder.
Who is most susceptible to sleep apnea issues?
Studies indicate that men, older adults, and people who are overweight are more susceptible to sleep apnea. Other factors that contribute to snoring are habits such as alcohol use, smoking, and the use of sedatives.
Does sleep apnea go away on its own?
it is very uncommon for sleep apnea to go away on its own. There are things you can do to alleviate symptoms without medical intervention. You can exercise more often, alter your sleep position, use a humidifier, and avoid drinking alcohol and smoking. Visit us for a complete evaluation and specific recommendations for your specific needs.
Schedule a Dental Exam
If you would like to explore your treatment options for sleep apnea in Annapolis, MD, visit the office of Dr. Vernon Sheen. Learn more about oral appliance therapy in your area today. To schedule an appointment, call (443) 482- 5202 or request an appointment online.