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Why You May Need to Sleep with an Oral Appliance to Breathe Better at Night
Posted on 6/25/2019 by Dr. Chad Rebhun
When people hear the word oral appliance, they think about the retainers that teenagers wear when they sleep to straighten their teeth. It is not a pleasant picture.
It is also not an accurate picture. There are other oral appliances that adults use to help with other problems. There are also many people who could benefit for these oral appliances.
The Problem of Sleep Apnea
One out of every four people suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where a person repeatedly stops breathing throughout the night. There are three types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when throat muscles relax to block the airway. Central sleep apnea is when the brain does not send the proper signals to the body and complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of the other two types.
How an Oral Appliance Helps
The most common form of sleep apnea is the obstructive sleep apnea. That is where an oral appliance can come in to help. The design of the oral appliances accomplishes two things to help with obstructive sleep apnea. The first thing it does is move the position of the jaw forward. This helps keep the airway open and keeps the individual breathing all night.
The second thing that the oral appliance does is to keep the muscles from the tongue and the top of the mouth from blocking the airway while sleeping. Without the muscles blocking the airway, a good night's sleep is the result.
The oral appliances used for treating sleep apnea also can help people who snore. This not only allows the individual using the appliance to get a good night's sleep, it also allows anyone without earshot to get a better night's sleep. It is a simple solution to a serious problem.
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