Dental Problems

Is Sleep Apnea an Oral Problem

12 Million Americans suffer from Sleep Apnea. 90% of the people suffering this problem are unaware of it. That is why, it is undetected most of the time. Late diagnosis of the problem can cause high blood pressure, headache, impotency and memory loss. A less known fact is that this problem can be cured by oral instruments. This article tries to understand how this health issue is an oral problem cured by dentists completely.

What is Sleep Apnea:

It is feeling out of breath while in sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health, people suffering from this problem, do not breathe in their sleep for up to 100 times in an hour. There are three types of this problem namely obstructive (most common), central and mixed types. Muscles present in our throat pass the air we breathe to lungs through the airways. But in a person suffering from sleep apnea, the throat collapses. The muscles present in the airways instead become a hindrance. They block it prevent the passage of air to the lungs.

Symptoms and Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea:

  • Snoring
  • Feeling sleepy in day time
  • Awakening from sleep suddenly and sweat
  • Feeling chocked while trying to breathe in sleep
  • Frequent silences in breathing
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • History of this problem in family
  • Belonging to African and Mexican Descent

How Oral Devices Cure Sleep Apnea:

Oral devices bring the low jar or the tongue forward in the patients. In this way, these devices open the airway during the sleep by adjusting the lower jaw. An advantage of these devices is that they can fit inside the mouth or around the head or chin easily. The Tongue Retaining Device and the Mandibular Repositioning Device are the two most popular oral devices to treat sleep apnea.

These devices are effective for mild to moderate cases of this problem only. These devices are to be fitted only by dental doctors. These devices are easy to use but have some side effects like soreness in the mouth, vomiting sensations, build-up of saliva, change in position of the mouth in general.

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