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Can I Use an Oral Appliance with Severe Sleep Apnea?

August 23, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drzulawinski @ 9:40 pm

Model of oral appliance for sleep apnea treatment in Arlington Heights. Has your chronic snoring been keeping your partner awake at night? Maybe you struggle to make it through the day because you don’t feel well-rested despite sleeping all night? As a result, you have been referred to a specialist for sleep apnea treatment in Arlington Heights. Snoring and daytime fatigue are just a few complications of untreated obstructive sleep apnea. Thankfully, there are more options than ever to treat the disorder. Besides a traditional CPAP, many patients are turning to an oral appliance. Even if your sleep apnea is severe, you might still be a candidate for oral appliance therapy.

Options to Treat Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most prominent form of the condition, which occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the mouth or throat relax while you’re sleeping. This can cause the tissue to collapse, blocking the airway. Patients can experience hundreds of pauses in breathing frequently throughout the night, harming your health and your quality of life.

Your sleep study revealed the frequency and duration of the interruptions in breathing to determine the severity of your case. If your results revealed your sleep apnea is severe, you were likely prescribed a CPAP. The small machine delivers a steady stream of gentle air pressure to keep the airways open. Although it is effective, many patients struggle with compliance because it can be bothersome.

An oral appliance is a popular alternative because the small, custom-fit device provides convenience and comfort as it repositions the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open. This is an effective solution for mild-to-moderate forms of the disorder, so you might not think it’s the right treatment for you. Even if your sleep apnea is severe, you might be a candidate for an oral appliance using combined therapy.

Combined Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Combined therapy for sleep apnea uses both treatments. The oral appliance allows you to only need a nasal mask instead of a full facemask. This resolves many discomforts, increasing patient compliance rates. Overall, combining the two treatments offers a variety of advantages for people who have severe sleep apnea, such as:

  • Improved comfort
  • Significantly reduces pauses in breathing
  • Added convenience
  • Improved sleep quality

If you have had difficulty adjusting to life with your CPAP or your symptoms haven’t improved, you might be a candidate for combined therapy. An oral appliance will make your CPAP feel less restrictive. In addition, the machine will also omit less noise, so there are fewer factors keeping you from getting a good night’s rest.

If you’re not achieving the relief you need from your CPAP, it’s time to see if you’re a candidate for combined therapy. You can breathe better and sleep soundly using a customized treatment plan.

About Dr. Brian Zulawinski

Dr. Brian Zulawinski earned his degree from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. He’s continued his training to specialize in the treatment of sleep apnea. As a member of the American Academy for Dental Sleep, you’ll benefit from proven solutions to get the rest you need. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for obstructive sleep apnea.

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