Many Americans deal with sleeping disorders. One of them, obstructive sleep apnea, can be addressed by a dental professional in the Shrewsbury area. Dr. Levenson, of Levenson Smile, can assist patients who are struggling with this condition and need to treat it to improve their health and overall quality of life.
Obstructive sleep apnea results in the wakening of individuals hundreds of times a night. It is caused by a blockage in the airway, typically the throat, which causes patients to stop breathing. Patients wake up abruptly, unable to breathe, only to fall back asleep, and start the cycle over again. This cycle continues all night long, and many patients are unable to reach the restorative levels of sleep they need to function at their best. This results in patients becoming tired, irritable, and depressed.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be caused by the blockage of the airway from the tongue, misalignment of the jaw, or extra fat bearing down on the throat during sleep. While many patients may be told by a physician that a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is the best method of treating the symptoms associated with this condition, it is often the most cumbersome way of doing so. Most patients who are assigned a CPAP machine do not comply with treatment because it is uncomfortable to wear and can interfere with their sleep. However, there is another method of treatment more widely accepted by patients.
Oral appliance therapy can be provided by a dentist such as Dr. Levenson. Patients visit his practice after they have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea to discuss the ways they can benefit from this solution. An oral appliance, similar to a special mouth guard, is custom-fabricated for patients to help with holding down the tongue and realigning the jaw. By doing this, patients can enjoy a restful night’s sleep and avoid the concerns related to obstructive sleep apnea. Patients find these mouth guards to be comfortable, easy to use, and helpful in addressing their condition.