What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that can create potentially serious issues. The main traits are sudden pauses in breathing or decreased breathing during sleep, referred to as apnea events. They can last from a few seconds to a minute and occur multiple times in a night, causing oxygen flow to the brain to be severely strained.
Symptoms can include:
- Loud snoring
- Choking during sleep
Those symptoms can lead to:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Concentration issues
Long term effects of OSA are:
- Risk of stroke
- Heart disease
Are you seeking a custom mouth guard from a dentist near you to help with your sleep apnea? Please consult with one of our dentists in NW Calgary! Our Sage Hill Dental office is open Saturdays, allowing for the flexibility of an appointment time fitting into your schedule on weekdays or weekends.
Here is some information to get you acquainted with the different types of mouth guards for sleep apnea, their effectiveness, getting one and using it.
What is a Mouth guard for Sleep Apnea?
Mouth guards, also known as oral appliances or mandibular advancement devices (MADs), can effectively treat mild to moderate OSA. These devices are designed to keep the airway open by repositioning the jaw and tongue, which keeps airways open during sleep, reducing apnea events.
Custom-fitted sleep apnea mouth guards are generally considered safe, but there can be some side effects. The good news is that most side effects disappear in the first two months as the mouth adjusts to having the guard inside during sleep. The side effects can include:
- Dry mouth
- Gum irritation
- Tooth pain
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort. (The TMJ is where the jawbone connects to the skull.)
If you have any questions about outcomes regarding the use of oral appliances for sleep apnea. Feel free to contact our NW Calgary dental clinic to schedule a consultation with one of our Sage Hill dentists. We would be happy to assist with any concerns you may have and assist with determining if you are experiencing sleep apnea and possible treatment methods.
How Effective are Mouth guards for Sleep Apnea?
The AASM recommends getting a properly fitted, adjustable mouth guard. Custom-fitted mouth guards are proven to be the most effective at treating OSA.
Over-the-counter mouth guards may claim to be helpful with snoring, but more conclusive research needs to be done. More cost-effective thermoplastic mouth guards are available, which are devices fitted by the patient by themselves by biting into them after the device has been softened in boiling water.
The effectiveness of mouth guards for OSA does vary depending on the individual’s specific condition and the type of mouth guard used.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommendations for sleep apnea mouth guards are for people with:
- Mild to moderate OSA
- Moderate to severe snoring habits
- Severe OSA but do not want or did not respond to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy (sleep apnea machine).
Ideally, you would find the best fit for your scenario. There are one-piece and two-piece designs. Some people prefer the comfort of the two-piece while others prefer the more affordable one-piece design and find they have better results with them.
How Can Someone Get a Mouth guard for Sleep Apnea?
Some mouth guards are available over-the-counter at drug stores or sporting goods shops. Recommended custom-fitted oral appliances are obtained after a consultation with a dentist near you.
Custom oral appliances are made by taking dental casts of your teeth. The impressions in the cast are then used to create a custom oral appliance tailored to your mouth. The dentist will make sure the device fits properly and comfortably.
How Do You Use a Mouth Guard for Sleep Apnea?
Before going to sleep, the mouth guard is inserted into a clean mouth to keep the device clean and not trap plaque on your teeth. Generally, the device should be positioned to keep your lower jaw slightly forward to maintain an open airway during sleep. Follow any instructions given by your dentist and/or mouth guard provider.
Manufacturers often recommend cleaning your mouth guard daily along with your oral hygiene routine. Soaking to disinfect the mouth guard in a provided solution weekly will keep it clean too.
Lastly, it is essential to have regular follow-up visits with your dentist. This allows progress to be monitored, and if any issues arise, adjustments can be made. This ensures optimal treatment for your OSA.
Are You Looking for a Custom Mouth Guard Near You?
If you’re in the NW Calgary or Balzac areas, book your consultation for mouth guards in NW Calgary. Sage Hill Dental is a prime place to get custom-fit, comfortable mouth guards in the Evanston area.
Reach out to us via phone or email today!