Sleep apnea is a more common sleeping disorder than many realize. Due to the fact that many of the signs of this condition occur when a patient is sleeping, it can be difficult to diagnose without a sleep study or the concern of a sleeping partner. Gasping for breath and going seconds without breathing during sleep are common signs of obstructive sleep apnea. Patients who undergo a sleep study may receive a proper diagnosis. After a diagnosis has been made, patients can receive sleep apnea treatments in Worcester, MA.
Although there are other forms, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form. This condition is caused by an obstructed airway. Most physicians recommend CPAP machines for this condition. CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is a device that is worn by a patient while they sleep. The mask is worn during the night to keep the airways open and reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, thus allowing the patient to achieve deep, restorative sleep without interruption. However, the mask and air pressure can be uncomfortable and very cumbersome for most. This causes patients to avoid using the device, resulting in non-compliance. Without using a sleep apnea treatment, patients are not addressing the problem.
Instead, dentists can treat patients with an alternative method of treatment. Dr. Levenson, of Levenson Smile, uses oral appliance therapy to assist patients struggling with this sleeping disorder. Oral appliance therapy uses custom-made plastic appliances that are worn while a patient sleeps. They fit over the patient's teeth comfortably while realigning the jaw and holding down the tongue. This device is just as effective as a CPAP machine, for mild to moderate sleep apnea and often increases compliance due to ease of use.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and are you considering an alternative to a CPAP machine, contact Dr. Levenson, of Levenson Smile in Worcester, MA today to learn more about oral appliance therapy.