Believe it or not, each night as many Americans are settling in for a good night’s sleep filled with sweet dreams and rest, millions of others are struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep and are getting up in the morning feeling unrested and frustrated. Many people feel they are just unlucky and just aren’t “one of those people” that can fall asleep easily. What they don’t know is that their struggles are actually symptoms of sleep disruptions ranging anywhere from snoring, all the way up to the inability to breathe. These symptoms can be quite mild (in the early stages) to severe and are leading to sleepless nights and, in extreme cases, can even lead to death. Two sleep disorder diagnoses are Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). Scientific development has provided several methods designed to eliminate or reduce sleep disorders. The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or more commonly known as a “CPAP” is a leader in these types of treatments using mild air pressure to open and keep open, a patient’s airways that otherwise are closing during the night, thus leading to a poor night’s sleep.
The CPAP is a combination of a small bedside device with a connecting tube and mask that fits over the individual’s mouth (and/or nose) while they are sleeping and aides in improving both sleep quality and duration as well as minimizing snoring.
Unfortunately, many people are not able to “tolerate” the CPAP that has been prescribed to them for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, the feeling of claustrophobia, the noise the machine creates, nasal congestion, headaches, and the discomfort of the mask itself. With so many Americans struggling to breathe while they sleep and the option given to them being something, they aren’t able to use, leaves many people frustrated, like they are out of options and will never get relief.
Another treatment option offered to patients struggling to breathe at night is a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) which guides the lower the jaw (and therefore also, your tongue) forward and away from the back of your throat increasing the “size” of the upper airway, in an effort to reduce the air resistance that can lead to snoring. Typically, an MAD fits within the mouth and is molded to your teeth to provide a more custom fit. Again, while this is a device recommended by doctors and dentists alike, sadly, many patients are not able to tolerate this device and do not use it bringing them back to square one.
Although CPAP and MAD therapy are the most common sleep apnea treatment prescribed for these disorders, they aren’t the only option and, as of recent, scientific papers are showing that they aren’t always the best treatment option for you. At Kuljic DDS & Team, we offer alternative treatment options that require no machinery, tubes or masks. Our dentists will guide you through our airway screening to determine what treatments are right for you.
If CPAP or MAD therapy hasn’t been working for you, don’t give up on sleep disruption treatment altogether. Turn to Kuljic DDS & Team for a sleep apnea treatment alternative that just might work for you!
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