How do sleep apnea mouth guards work?
Sleep apnea mouth guard is a special intraoral device, the task of which is to keep the lower jaw in a certain extended position during sleep. For this, the mouthguard is fixed on the teeth of the upper and lower jaw. The shape of this device usually matches the shape of the dental arches. It can be made from different biologically safe materials: silicone, special plastics, metal, composite materials, or a combination of these.
Mouth guards for sleep apnea are made of safe dental materials and are fixed on the teeth, as a result, the tongue is displaced in such a way that its root stops sinking and blocking the airways. During the use of the it, the soft tissues of the pharynx tense, being in good shape, no longer vibrate when inhaling due to the passage of air.
Advantages and disadvantages of using sleep apnea mouth guards
The question about the effectiveness of such devices is the frequent one. The effectiveness of a properly fitted mouthguard may be similar to sleep apnea CPAP therapy. The applicators are non-invasive methods for correcting snoring, they are not difficult in use and safe because the side effects encountered do not pose a threat to health. There are some contraindications to the use of caps:
- the growth and formation of the jaw is not completed (children's age);
- not enough teeth to hold it securely;
- there are active diseases of the teeth and gums (caries, periodontitis);
- mouth opening is significantly limited;
- disease of ENT organs requiring surgical intervention.
How effective are mouth guards for sleep apnea? One of the factors influencing the effectiveness of the treatment of snoring with mouth guards is the correct selection of patients. Taking into account all indications and contraindications, the oral applicator can reduce the duration and frequency of snoring, reduce the number of episodes of apnea and reduce the risk of negative consequences of respiratory arrest during sleep. Numerous studies have established that
- mouth guards significantly reduce snoring
- significantly reduce the number of pauses in breathing during sleep
- seriously reduce the number of micro-awakenings
- considerably reduce sleepiness
- reduce mortality from cardiovascular disease
- improve the quality of life for people with apnea
- the use of caps leads to an increase in the level of oxygen in the blood in patients
With all the ease of use of sleep apnea mouth guards, it should be borne in mind that an integrated approach is important in the treatment of this illness. This is an interdisciplinary task, therefore, often to solve it, it is necessary to consult not only an experienced dentist, but — first of all, a somnologist, and sometimes also an ENT specialist, and specialists of other profiles.