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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Do You Hate Your C-Pap?

From Eric V. Thomas, DMD, with Sunshine Dentistry

There is excellent news for those with obstructive sleep apnea. Non-invasive treatments including Mandibular Advancement Appliances and Vivos® custom oral appliances can ensure your airway stays open while you sleep.

Vivos System
The Vivos® System is a non-surgical treatment for obstructive sleep therapy available at Sunshine Dentistry. It does not require medication, implants, or a noisy breathing machine. Instead, the Vivos system involves the use of a custom fitted oral device, similar in concept to a palate expander for children. Over a period of months, the oral device gradually expands the size of the roof of the mouth. In doing so, it creates a wider airway, lowering the chance of blockage during the night. The Vivos device is FDA cleared to treat sleep apnea. The Vivos® device is a unique treatment for sleep apnea, in that it is the only oral device that corrects the root cause of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a restricted airway.

Mandibular Advancement Appliances
A Mandibular Advancement Appliance is a custom oral device that looks similar to clear aligners. It fits snugly over your teeth and gently positions your lower jaw in a forward position. This ensures that the airway in the back of your throat remains open while you are sleeping. In addition to treating obstructive sleep apnea, this device also reduces snoring.

What if I already have a C-pap that I am not wearing?

Often patients are unable to tolerate a c-pap and stop wearing the device which can put them at risk of severe health consequences. Speak with your doctor, if you have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, you may be able to switch to a custom oral appliance under the care of a dentist trained to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and have not yet committed to a c-pap, talk with your dentist about all available options for you. If the anatomical structure of your jaw is normal, you will likely be fitted for a custom non-corrective night guard oral appliance. If airway restriction is due to an underdevelopment of the anatomical structure of the soft tissues in the throat, the Vivos® device may be a better option.

How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

Look for warning signs such as waking up exhausted, waking up gasping for air, or having unexplained mental fog. It can be difficult to identify symptoms of sleep apnea because they mimic other illnesses or conditions. Some of the signs that you may be pausing while breathing at night include:

  • Repeated stops and starts in breathing at night.
  • Loud Snoring, often disturbing family members.
  • Dry mouth upon waking.
  • Waking up gasping, coughing, choking during the night.
  • Feeling exhausted during the day.
  • Irritability.
  • Morning Headaches.

Oftentimes your partner may notice signs and symptoms of sleep apnea before you do. If they are telling you that you’re snoring loudly or seem to be holding your breath while you sleep, it’s time to seek treatment.

Sleep apnea can interfere with your quality of life and your long-term health. Untreated sleep apnea can also lead to severe health consequences. Speak with your primary care physician if you have one or more of these symptoms described here. You may need a sleep study to fully diagnose the condition. After receiving a medical diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, you can be referred to a dentist who specializes in treating sleep apnea.

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