Sleep apnea therapy at your Hunt Valley, MD dentist’s office: Easy-to-use custom oral appliances that work
The dentist’s office may seem a curious place to treat sleep disorders; however, Dr. Thomas Rhodes’ advanced training and technologies allow him to resolve problems that transcend the teeth and gums. He is well-equipped to identify, resolve, and manage issues associated with interconnected oral structures. These problems include Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a type of Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB). Depending on your unique needs, at Hunt Valley Dental, we may recommend an easy-to-use and discreet alternative to cumbersome and noisy CPAP therapy.
Sleep apnea basics
“Sleep apnea” refers to a cessation of breathing during sleep or when at rest. Those with this condition are not able to breathe unimpeded through the night. When sleep apnea sufferers are deeply relaxed, the muscles and tissues in their throat and mouth become so lax that they block the airway. As the tissues vibrate against the narrowed airway, a characteristic loud rattle or snore arises. So, sleep apnea not only affects millions of individuals directly, but it also affects spouses and partners who are unable to get quality sleep due to their loved one’s snoring.
Sleep apnea requires prompt treatment, not only for the sake of your relationships. But, also, for the sake of your health. Due to the chronic pause in breathing, this condition has been linked to numerous life-threatening complications. These complications include:
- Car and workplace accidents due to a lack of sleep
- Cardiovascular disease
Our bodies require restorative, uninterrupted sleep to repair cells, restore energy, and support healthy brain function. As a dentist with the onsite capabilities to treat other oral structures and tissues (in addition to teeth and gums), we may recommend a Mandibular Advancement Device. The MAD is customized to your specifications using an impression or model of your mouth. It is designed to move or “advance” the lower jaw forward. In this manner, the oral tissues are also repositioned.
With the tissues that formerly blocked the airway out of the way, the air can pass unimpeded when you are sleeping. These devices are lightweight, portable, easy to wear, and easy to care for, making them an attractive alternative to CPAP therapy. While CPAP is an efficient treatment for sleep apnea, the machine that generates Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) to keep patients’ airways open can be difficult for individuals and their partners to adjust to. Sleep apnea therapy that doesn’t “get used” (because it is noisy or difficult to wear and clean) cannot do its job as intended.
If you suffer from symptoms such as daytime fatigue, frequent dry mouth, and sore throats, and headaches, we encourage you to contact us today at (410) 771-6300. We can accurately pinpoint the cause of these symptoms and recommend oral appliance therapy to quickly and easily help you avoid the many severe complications of sleep apnea.