Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical disorder that affects around 10% of Canadian men over the age of 40, and 6% of Canadian women of the same age. Sleep apnea sufferers completely stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night. Normal breathing ceases because the airway becomes obstructed, causing a serious reduction of airflow to the lungs.
There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws and push them forward slightly. This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again. Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep. Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight.
Our office starts with an appliance you wear in your mouth. It is like wearing two mouth guards fixed together.
This Appliance is generally used to alleviate obstructive sleep disorder and eliminate snoring. The patient or dentist can project the jaw forwards in increments of .25mm at a time. This ensures maximum comfort for the sleeper. The appliance is made from a heat softening acrylic, which makes it easier to insert. Running warm water over the appliance makes it pliable, but once placed in the desired position, the acrylic hardens again.
If you have questions or concerns about sleep apnea appliances, please ask Dr. Abells.