Sleep is one of the most important human needs and sleeping badly can have a negative impact on how you feel and function each day. Sleep apnea is a disorder which causes someone to wake up over and over throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of the disorder and it causes the tissue in your neck to relax, blocking your breathing. Each time this happens, you wake up briefly, resulting in a poor night’s sleep and leading to cardiovascular issues.

You Have Options To Treat Your Sleep Apnea

If you find yourself waking up throughout the night and choking, or unable to get a solid night of sleep, sleep apnea may be the issue. At St. Luke’s OMS, we understand sleep apnea and offer several different treatment options to make sure you can once again have a full night of sleep. Some of the options include surgery for the back of the throat or repositioning the bones of the upper and lower jaw. One of the best-known treatments for sleep apnea and one that may work for you, however, is a nasal CPAP machine. If you’re searching for a non-surgical treatment option, a CPAP machine may be the answer. But for those of you who might be looking for a less invasive and cumbersome options, your dentist could fit you for a mouth guard that can reduce the obstruction of your breathing.

Do Mouth Guards Help With Sleep Apnea?

Mouth guards are traditionally used to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching while you sleep, however, they can also be used to help reduce snoring and relieve obstructive sleep apnea. Not all mouth guards are the same–different types of mouth guards are used to treat different ailments. That’s where your dentist comes in. Your dentist can identify which one will be best for you and fit your mouth guard to you specifically. Custom made mouth guards are going to be the most beneficial as they will mold to your mouth perfectly.

How Does It Work?

A mouth guard designed to treat sleep apnea works by pushing your lower jaw and tongue forward which helps to keep your airway open. Some types have a strap that goes around your head and chin to re-adjust your lower jaw, others look more like a traditional mouth guard. You and your dentist can work together to determine which style is best suited for you.

How Do You Care For Your Mouth Guard?

It is important to take good care of your mouth guard to avoid damage. Besides, it will spend a lot of time in your mouth so you want to ensure it stays clean. To get the most our of your mouth guard, brush and floss your teeth before putting it in your mouth and regularly rinse it out with cool water or mouthwash before putting it in and after taking it out. Be sure to use cold water when you do this, as warm water can change the shape of it. Make it a routine to scrub it out by using a tooth brush to ensure you’re getting every crevasse clean. Regularly check it over and make sure there aren’t any holes or signs of damage anywhere. It is wise to bring your mouth guard to regular dental visits so they can inspect it as well. As far as storage, keep it in a hard, well ventilated case and make sure it is dry before you put it away. Mouth guards will not last forever, but by following these tips you can get the most our of your mouth guard. Typically the rule of thumb is to replace them every 2 to 3 years.

Schedule A Consultation Today

St. Luke’s OMS can help you find out the source of your sleep apnea and see what type of treatment is right for you.  We can help you explore and select the best choice to treat your sleep apnea. We focus on helping our patients make informed decisions. Schedule a consultation with us today to find out more information about how we can help treat your sleep apnea.