While You Were Sleeping?

The question mark is included due to the fact many of us do not enjoy all the rest and recuperation we should during our sleep time. Exhaustive studies from the medical community confirm the quality of sleep is greatly compromised by snoring and sleep apnea. Upper airway resistance is the cause of snoring and more threatingly, sleep apnea. Reduction of proper oxygen saturation of the blood is the problem and cause of the pathology caused by sleep apnea.

Sleep medicine, developed in the last 30 or 40 years, is the specialty appropriate to this dilemma. For optional results, planning should be directed by this type of physician, only then with our collaboration.  Current dental techniques and appliances are an alternative to the continuous positive air pressure, or CPAP, machines provided through the medical community. The objective of either approach is to keep the airway open, removing the constriction that causes both snoring and sleep apnea. Dental sleep disturbance appliances compare nicely for many patients to how much “is going on” with the CPAP machines.  Dental sleep disturbance appliances are more user friendly.

When we sleep, our tongue muscles relax, allowing the tongue to fall back into the oropharynx. This constricts the airway and is the most frequent cause of snoring and sleep apnea. The mechanics of our sleep disturbance appliances is to posture the mandible (lower jaw) in a slightly open and slightly forward position. This posturing draws the base of the tongue forward along with the jaw, maintaining an open airway.

In an equitable situation, most of us agree you should “get what you pay for.” Over the counter sleep disturbance appliances can be effective but pale in comparison to the comfort and quality of those provided by dental professionals and their supportive laboratory technicians. Let’s face it, wearing any appliance is a compromise to falling asleep naturally. We believe such an intervention to natural sleep should bring as few obstacles as possible.  Sleep disturbance appliances from dental professionals and certified dental labs result in a far lower “obstacle index” than either CPAPs or over the counter appliances.

Wearability of such a “thing” in your mouth goes up with the engineering and comfort built into state of the art appliances. There is a threshold to wearability when trying to fall asleep. Less expensive, unmonitored quick fixes from infomercials or the internet will more likely threaten this threshold.

Troubleshooting is integral to our continued care once appliance therapy begins. Close attention to avoid any problem with the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) or unplanned tooth movement, related to appliance therapy, is provided here. Instead of feeling loose or unstable on the teeth, our appliances fit so snugly we often have to make them more relaxed on the teeth. We do this in a conservative specific fashion. In the end, we have wearability!

Sleep partners are inevitably the informal sleep study. What does your sleep partner have to report?