Dr. Linda RAK Canepa, DDS
A Great Dentist

Types of Oral Appliances

Many people can’t function without a cup of coffee in the morning to give them a quick boost of energy. Yet, the need for this little morning pick me up may mean more serious problems. Drowsiness during the day is one of the major symptoms of sleep apnea and bruxism, both of which can make it difficult to get a restful night’s sleep. One of the best ways to get the rest you need at night when you suffer from sleep apnea or bruxism is by using an oral appliance. 

What is an Oral Appliance?

An oral appliance is similar to a mouth guard, but it is custom fitted to your mouth to give a snug and comfortable fit. Different appliances have different purposes, but both can help those that suffer from sleep apnea or bruxism sleep more comfortably. 

Sleep Apnea

When you sleep at night, your muscles naturally relax to give your body time to rest. Yet, for those with sleep apnea, the neck muscle can relax too much, causing the throat to close up. This can cause people to stop breathing for a couple seconds while they sleep. The main symptoms of sleep apnea are snoring, drowsiness, and morning headaches; yet, if left untreated, this condition can lead to stroke or heart disease. The dental appliance used for sleep apnea patients will pull the bottom jaw forward to help open up airways and silence snoring. The appliance is more comfortable than a CPAP machine and can help you sleep more comfortably. 

Bruxism

Stress can create problems in our lives in many ways, and many people who suffer from bruxism also suffer from high levels of stress. Grinding and clenching your teeth can make it hard to get restful sleep, cause jaw pain, lead to jaw misalignments, give you headaches, and chip and crack your teeth. The bruxism appliance is designed to separate your teeth and hold the jaw in place, making it more difficult to grind and clench your teeth. 

See Your Dentist

Bruxism and sleep apnea may not have many obvious symptoms, but your dentist should be able to identify the signs of these oral health concerns, which is why it is important to see your dentist regularly. If you live in Rocky River, OH and would like to know more about sleep apnea, bruxism, or dental appliances, please contact Dr. Canepa and her team for more information.