How Do Oral Appliances Help With Your Sleep Apnea?

Oral appliances are a safe and effective way to control Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. At Kramer Family Dentistry in Neenah, WI, your sleep dentist, Dr. James Kramer, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. His expertise can help you sleep restfully and improve your overall health.

The details on sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by extremely loud snoring and frequent periods of waking and breathing cessation (apnea). Often, the sufferer is unaware of his or her problem, but the household certainly notices the snoring and breathing pattern.

Besides causing daytime fatigue, mental fogginess and anxiety, sleep apnea impairs overall health. Many patients have co-existing problems such as hypertension, type-2 diabetes, sexual dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Finally, sleep apnea often significantly strains interpersonal relationships.

How does a person develop sleep apnea? The vast majority of patients suffer with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, in which the tongue and other soft tissues cover the airway as a person sleeps. Obesity, sleep position, alcohol consumption and structural abnormalities in the throat are precipitating factors.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that 25 million adults in the United States have OSA, and the numbers rise each year. These facts concern your sleep dentist in Neenah, WI, Dr. James Kramer. He is a Diplomate with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, having extensive experience in oral appliance therapy for OSA, and he helps patients manage the disorder.

Oral appliances

After a definitive diagnosis of OSA from a board-certified sleep physician, you can see Dr. Kramer for an oral appliance consultation. He offers five FDA-approved acrylic devices which support the muscles at the base of the tongue and help keep the airway open during the night. In consultation with Dr. Kramer, you'll choose an appliance to be fitted and adjusted to your oral cavity.

Worn nightly, these superior-grade appliances produce significant relief for many OSA patients. Some people who do not tolerate CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), a bedside apparatus with a facial mask, do well with oral appliances singly, or in conjunction with the use of CPAP.

Other helpful strategies include losing weight, stopping all tobacco products, limiting alcohol before bed time and sleeping on your side (rather than on your back). In rare cases, sleep apnea sufferers require surgery to stiffen their palates, remove tonsils or other revisions.

Sleep well, and be well

At Kramer Family Dentistry, Dr. James Kramer, Dr. Stephanie Kramer and their dedicated team provide quality family dental care to the Neenah, WI, area. If you're concerned about your snoring, or that of a family member, call our office for more information on oral appliance therapy: (920) 725-2533.

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