Many people — and their partners — are not sleeping well due to snoring. More than just an annoyance, it’s often an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The most common treatment for OSA is use of a CPAP machine, but Drs. Dominic and Kara Marshall Roppa and their team at Smile Viera in Viera FL, can help with an alternative treatment in the form of an oral appliance to wear while you’re asleep.
Q: What causes sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is most commonly associated with obesity or excess weight although other factors such as smoking, chronic congestion and a thick neck can also contribute. Certain sleep positions can cause the airway to become obstructed as the muscles relax during sleep, restricting airflow to the rest of the body. The sleeper may awaken multiple times overnight gasping for air and wake up feeling tired. This may lead to falling asleep during the day, and issues with memory and concentration.
Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. How does the oral appliance work?
While CPAP therapy is the most commonly prescribed sleep apnea treatment, an oral appliance can provide a similar result. Both methods keep the airway open during sleep, when the soft tissue in the mouth are more relaxed.
Instead of CPAP’s constant airflow keeping the airway open during sleep, the oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to help hold the airway open. The device gently repositions the bottom jaw, moving it forward to prevent the soft tissue from collapsing over the airway. The appliance is constructed tough enough to even withstand bruxism — or teeth grinding — so even nighttime teeth-grinders can benefit from the device.
Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?
Dr. Roppa or Marshall-Roppa meet with patients for an individual consultation where they will examine the mouth and make sure you’re fitted correctly and comfortably. Although, the device repositions the jaw, it is designed to fit comfortably inside the mouth with as little disruption to sleep as possible. Most patients report a reduction in snoring and better sleep while using the oral appliance, leading happier patients, happier partners and happier mornings!
Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get it?
What makes an oral device comfortable and effective is that it is custom-fitted to the individual patient’s mouth. Dr. Roppa or Dr. Marshall-Roppa will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure the device is as comfortable as possible. We don’t want a sore jaw to keep you from wearing the device that’s supposed to help you sleep and feel better.
Our caring staff at Smile Viera in Viera FL wants to help you get better sleep. Call (321) 614-3833 or schedule an appointment online today.