Most of us are known to snore from time to time, but for some, it can become a serious medical issue. Sleep apnea occurs when an individual stops breathing for a moment while they are asleep. More common in men, this can not only affect your night’s rest, but leave you more susceptible to other health concerns.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is the term for the disorder in which the individual repeatedly stops breathing momentarily throughout the night. This mostly occurs as the throat muscles relax, blocking the airway. You very well might not even know you have this condition, especially if you sleep alone.
There are numerous sleep tracking apps now available on the market that might help you determine if your sleep is being interrupted. These save a lot of time, as we used to have to videotape someone sleeping for a true diagnosis. If you believe you have sleep apnea, please speak with a healthcare professional about it.
You might feel embarrassed by the condition, and can recall images of giant CPAP machines. These machines used to be big and noisy. Even though they have slimmed down some, most people would prefer to sleep without a tube strapped to their face.
Mouthguards May Help
One option available for people with sleep apnea are night guards. These are also used often for patients with bruxism, or the persistent grinding of the teeth.
This may keep the jaw from coming fully together, allowing the airway to remain unobstructed through the night. By moving the tongue and jaw forward, we are able to avoid more invasive procedures such as surgery.
You may see benefits as soon as the next day, with your first full sleep in a while! Over time, studies have shown that people who treat their sleep apnea with a mouthguard have higher blood oxygen levels, as well as a decrease in blood pressure.
What Kinds Of Guards Are There?
Boil and bite mouthguards are the most common night guards, which are over the counter products that you can find at the drugstore or grocery store. Made of a thermoplastic, by placing the guard into boiling water, you soften it. Afterward, you bite down firmly onto the mouthguard.
If your dentist determines that a more intensive course of action is necessary, they will most likely suggest a custom protector. Made out of a harder material than boil and bite guards, these are formed using a mold that the dentist makes of the mouth. This mold is then sent to a laboratory, where technicians create a slim, sleek protector that is similar to a retainer.
Count Me in!
If you want to know how a mouthguard might get you a full night’s rest, please give Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery a call at (949)630-0143. Or stop by our office here in Newport Beach, CA!