3 Signs a Custom Mouth Guard Might Be a Good Idea for Sleep Apnea

Custom mouth guard for sleep apnea

Treatment for sleep apnea is beneficial in helping you get a better night’s sleep and is also necessary to help you live a longer, healthier life. Our most recent article listed 15 red flags indicating you may be suffering from sleep apnea. And, we want to reiterate here that if you present with two, three, or more of the symptoms we outlined, it is imperative that you see your primary care physician to determine the next steps and a treatment plan.

Why a Custom Mouth Guard Might Be Needed to Help Treat Your Sleep Apnea

In our last article, we discussed the three primary treatments for sleep apnea—a CPAP machine, a BiPAP machine, or a custom mouth guard. While your doctor will generally prescribe a PAP machine, there are three signs that an oral appliance—a custom mouth guard—might be the better solution. In these instances listed below, your care provider will likely refer you to your sleep apnea dentist in Omaha, NE.

  1. You have tried a PAP device without success and have considered moving forward without sleep apnea treatment.
  2. Your sleep apnea falls into the mild or moderate category.
  3. You are young and like to stay physically active, favoring activities such as hiking, traveling, and visiting places where transporting a PAP machine simply isn’t feasible.

If this sounds like you, visiting The Tooth Doc for a custom mouth guard is a great solution. But before we discuss who a custom mouth guard can help, let’s briefly reiterate the previously mentioned common treatments for sleep apnea so you’re in the know.

1. CPAP Machine

A CPAP machine uses a facial mask to provide pressurized air just high enough to prevent the collapse of your airway. And though CPAPs can be highly effective in treating sleep apnea, there are instances when these machines are less effective. For instance, CPAPs do not work well for patients who experience daily congestion caused by seasonal allergies. Further, CPAPs can be noisy to some sleepers, making it difficult for you or your sleep partner to fall asleep.

2. BiPAP Machine

A BiPAP machine is similar to a CPAP, but is programmed with two distinct pressures—one for inhaling and one for exhaling. However, similar to the CPAP machine, though the noise is soft and rhythmic, some patients find the noise too distracting to fall asleep. Further, BiPAPs are not recommended for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), obesity hypoventilation syndrome, poor breathing after surgery, pneumonia, asthma flare ups, or a neurological disease that can disturb one’s sleep.

3. Custom Mouth Guard (Oral Appliance)

Mouth guards, also referred to as an oral appliance, nightguard, or even a snoring guard, work by moving your jaw into a forward position so that your airway opens up to allow more air in. This effectively reduces the air resistance that can cause snoring, and of course, sleep apnea. As we suggested earlier, night guards are a great solution when you have tried a PAP machine without success or have an active lifestyle. Plus, if your sleep apnea isn’t severe, a PAP machine might be overkill, making a night guard a wiser choice.

Mouth guards are highly effective.

According to the Sleep Foundation, research has found that sleep apnea oral appliances can provide the following benefits.

  • Reduce the number of times you pause your breathing or experience shallow breathing while you sleep
  • Improve your oxygen levels
  • Decrease how severely you snore (thus, waking yourself up as well as your sleep partner)
  • Lessen daytime sleepiness, thus improving the likelihood you will not fall asleep while driving or operating machinery

In addition to these benefits, patients may also experience a more regulated blood pressure and an improvement in their quality of life.

The Tooth Doc is your custom mouth guard partner for sleep apnea treatment.

Now that you know how a custom mouth guard works and the benefits you can anticipate as a result of your sleep apnea treatment, now is the time to take action. The Tooth Doc’s approach to general dentistry not only helps patients with their sleep apnea, but can diagnose and treat other ailments that may increase the risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Plus, The Tooth Doc is proud to be able to offer all of these services and so much more, such as cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry, all under one roof.

So what are you waiting for? Request an appointment today to improve your oral health and get a better night’s sleep tomorrow. We look forward to meeting you and partnering with you on the best possible sleep apnea treatment.