Suffering from Sleep Apnea, a Dentist in Chicago Can Help

by | Jul 17, 2018 | Dental Health

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Many people in Chicago suffer from sleep apnea but are unable to deal with CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machines. Many sufferers complain of claustrophobia, irritation from the mask, dry throat and nasal passages, and the chance the mask may come off during the night. For these people, an oral dental appliance is a practical alternative.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. Anyone suffering from the condition will stop breathing periodically throughout the night. This disorder is caused by physical obstruction of the airway. The interruption in breathing generally lasts for 10 seconds or so. This is often followed by gasping or emitting a choking sound as the person fights to resume breathing.

It is normal that muscles relax when you sleep; this includes the muscles in your mouth and throat. For most people, this is a not a problem, but for others it is. As these sufferers begin to relax, the tissue and muscles in the mouth and throat relax to the point where they block the upper airway, which blocks the normal flow of oxygen to the lungs.

When this happens, the person partially awakens, the brain signals the respiratory system, instructing it to work harder to overcome the effect of the obstruction.

Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea

Before the dentist becomes involved, the individual suffering sleep apnea in Chicago will undergo a sleep study. The results of the study will tell the severity of the condition. The severity has a great deal to do with the solution.

Mandibular advancement devices (MADs) look very much like a common sports mouthguard. They fit in the mouth. The device snaps over both the upper and lower dental arches. There is a hinge that connects the two components. The device works by pushing the tongue and lower jaw forward. This action prevents the muscles of the throat from collapsing into the airway. The device allows the person to breathe normally while sleeping.

If you are a sleep apnea sufferer, make an appointment with the Art of Modern Dentistry in Chicago.

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