What Are The Alternatives To Mouthguard For Sleep Apnea? (CPAP, UPP)

A good night’s sleep can become a dream for many patients who are suffering from obesity or sleeping disorders. With the latest advancement in dentistry today, you can choose dental or oral appliances to prevent snoring. You may want to buy a mouth guard to help with snoring and sleep apnea. While there is mouthguard for sleep apnea options available today, a patient who is living with an eating or sleeping problem can search for alternatives. A habit of snoring can become a nightmare even for your family members and loved ones. Even more so, a bariatric patient who has overcome their surgery recovery period may have had this frequent symptom.


What Is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that may lead to further health complications such as heart disease or stroke. Doctors detail out that obstructive sleep apnea happens when there is an obstruction in the breathing airways of a person. Notably, people snore when soft tissues such as the tongue block the throat. On the other hand, there is another form of sleep apnea called central sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder happens when the brain fails to maintain the breathing patterns of a person. Frequent and loud snoring may have to get an oral device such as mouthguard for sleep apnea.


Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Aside from your partner or child, letting you know that you are snoring daily, you may have other symptoms. Do you notice how your head aches every time you wake up? How about a sensation that you’re always irritated? Those signs can become a symptom not just for you, but the person that you sleep beside the bed. It can ruin your health and even your relationships if you’re not careful. If you want to visit a doctor’s office, you may also want to consider visiting your dentist to ask about a mouthguard for sleep apnea.

Mouthguard For Sleep Apnea

  • Loss of breath
  • Severe headaches
  • A broken or chipped tooth
  • Irritability as soon as you wake up
  • Forgetfulness
  • Disinterest in sexual desires
  • Sleepiness during the morning
  • Habitual snacking
  • Dry throat
  • Cardiovascular symptoms
  • Similar symptoms that show with partner/loved one
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)


How Can A Mouthguard For Sleep Apnea Help Patients?

 Can dentistry give a solution for an anti-snoring mouthpiece? Many dental professionals see that a mouth guard adjusts the jaw and throat appropriately to ensure that breathing is not obstructed. The most common oral device that most dentists and doctors of dental medicine suggest for patients is to use a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). An MAD tool helps open the teeth and bring the jaw down and forward. By this way, the throat opens automatically and prevents it from closing while a person sleeps. Dentists can create a custom mouthpiece such as a night mouth guard depending on the patient’s teeth and gum structure.


Alternative Appliances For An Obstructive Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard 

In reality, not everyone can use dental devices such as a mouth guard due to loss of healthy gums or missing teeth. There are alternatives for mouthpieces that you may want to ask your dentist about. Here are some of the replacement for a mouth guard to prevent obstructive sleep apnea.


Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine

A CPAP machine continuously blows machine in a person’s mouth to prevent them from loss of breath. There is a tube that connects to a mask which then transfers the oxygen into the person sleeping. Many sleep doctors suggest this way of treatment as it is one of the proven and effective anti-snoring options. However, patients must set a budget for a CPAP machine as it is an expensive way than the regular mouthpiece.


Sleep Pillows

Using a sleep pillow can adjust the person’s spine and prevent the jaw from causing obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep pillows are also designed to keep out dust mites, adjust the head, and prevent dry mouth problems. Most sleep pillows are available in the market and grocery stores.


Tongue Retainers

Tongue retainers may be cheaper appliances than a mouth guard. These retainers are for mild to moderate sleep apnea problems that hold the tongue in place.


Other Possible Treatments For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Beyond the usual oral health care device such as a mouthpiece, there may be procedures such as surgery or weight-oriented plans. Moreover, a person with abusive tendencies may need more than just mouthpieces or a mouth guard for their dental concern


Weight Loss Programs

As stated in our earlier articles, many people suffer from weight increase and obesity which shows symptoms of snoring. Obese patients and those who have undergone bariatric surgery may not be a suitable applicant for using a mouthpiece or a mouth guard due to their condition. Hence, it is better to start losing all the excess fat that builds up in the neck and throat area to reduce snoring. Having an anti-snoring weight loss program requires commitment in the diet and meal plans that their nutritionist advice.


Recovery From Addiction In Smoking And Alcohol

Bad habits such as smoking and alcohol can become troublesome not just for the lungs and liver. Many dentists and doctors observe that people addicted to smoking and drinking alcohol show symptoms of frequent and loud snoring while sleeping. Little do patients know that smoking and alcohol also affects the soft tissues in the throat and tongue. Smoking has a substance that irritates the mucous membrane and affects irritability. Alcohol, on the other hand, relaxes the tongue tissues and collapses the breathing airway of a person. It is suggested that a person avoid drinking alcohol and smoking to improve breathing at night. 


Oral Throat Surgery

ENT doctors may have to recommend oral throat surgery if there are excessive tissues near the tongue. Somnoplasty refers to the method of using heat for adjusting uvula tissues and the soft palate. However, somnoplasty is not a usual method, unlike the Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPP. An obese patient may also have to look for other similar surgical techniques to remove excess tissues and fat along the neck area.


Tongue Surgery or Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPP)

Mouthguard For Sleep Apnea Treatment

Similar to somnoplasty, a patient may have tongue surgery or Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty once the moderate sleep apnea becomes severe. The tongue surgery can become painful and may take one week or more to recover as inpatient in a hospital. If the obstruction of breathing involves the tonsils, it is also removed. Many patients prefer to have UPP as it is one of the effective ways to treat sleep apnea as it eliminates the reverberation of the soft palate from the pharynx wall.


Why Do People Have Sleeping Disorders?

Sleeping disorder is usually connected to stress, old age, and cognitive disabilities. Giving a better view, sleeping disorders have various reasons as to why it is a risk not just for people with weight problems. Many doctors say that sleeping disorders come from physical obstructions, but psychological issues such as insomnia may come from anxiety. Moreover, anyone can get obstructive sleep apnea, ranging from toddlers to the elderly. If you suspect that you have the symptoms above, go to a doctor right away for an appointment. It would be best to have the operation early on to prevent it from disrupting your overall wellbeing. 

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