For patients diagnosed with true sleep apnea (a frequent and temporary stoppage of breathing at night due to airway collapse), this can be a serious medical issue and it’s important to correct for their overall health and wellbeing. The most predictable treatment is a CPAP device prescribed by a medical sleep specialist. However, the compliance of wearing a mask, hooked up to a hose and fan/filter machine is not very high and many patients opt out of using one. For patients looking at an alternative to a CPAP, a dental appliance (called a Mandibular Advancement Device) may be made to help keep your airway open and prevent sleep apnea.
For patients who sleep fine, but snore, a dental appliance can be made to help prevent noisy nights, and reduce the frequency of elbows and knees to the back from a loved one trying to also sleep.
Bruxism – Dental Guard
Many people don’t realize they grind or clench their teeth (called Bruxism). This can often happen as patients sleep and can be caused not just by stress and anxiety, but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or crooked. A mouth guard can be an option to protect your teeth during sleep or times of bruxism (driving in rush hour traffic to work). Options include a soft or hard guard as well as a”NTI” that can deprogram your muscles over time to clenching and grinding.