When we think of sleep appliances to improve sleep apnea, we typically think of the CPAP machine; loud, intrusive, uncomfortable. However, with new innovations in dentistry, you can get all the benefits of a CPAP machine in a small, comfortable sleep appliance that’s no more intrusive than your teenager’s night guard.
And the best part about it? You can get it right here in Burke, Virginia, from your trusted dentist.
Sleep Apnea and How It Affects Your Health
For a long time, nobody really understood the importance of sleep. Sure, it allows you to recharge after a long day and most of us look forward to relaxing in bed. With proper sleep, your body can function the way it was designed to. Without proper sleep, however, your body can fall apart.
Getting the “right amount” of sleep isn’t just about laying in bed for eight hours a night. It’s about falling asleep, staying asleep and getting into a REM cycle. Sleep apnea prevents you from getting that necessary sleep because it interrupts you. In an apnea, your breathing stops long enough that your brain notices the oxygen shortage. It breaks the sleep cycle just enough to make you start breathing again. This keeps you from reaching and staying in the deeper, restorative stages of sleep.
Many people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t know it because they feel like they’re sleeping, but their body isn’t going into that critical deep sleep stage, leaving you exhausted during the day. Symptoms of sleep apnea include frequent headaches, waking up with a sore or dry throat, exhaustion throughout the day, concentration and memory problems, and having trouble staying awake, especially at the wheel or at work.
Differences Between a CPAP and MicrO2
We treat sleep apnea using cutting-edge technology; no need to wear a mask connected to a large machine every night. The MicrO2 sleep appliance looks similar to a regular night guard. It snaps together, preventing you from moving your jaw, clenching your teeth and grinding during the night.
The most obvious difference between a CPAP machine and a MicrO2 is its appearance. A CPAP is large, anchors you to your bedside table and is loud; not only can it interfere with your own sleep, but your partner’s as well.
We’ll fit your MicrO2 to your mouth by scanning your mouth digitally. This informs us of where your bite should be for optimal oxygen flow. Rather than sleeping with the regular jaw position you maintain during the day, the MicrO2 appliance brings your lower jaw forward, opening your airway. The appliances on the top and bottom row of teeth fasten together, so you’ll be able to relax while you sleep.
In some ways, MicrO2 is even superior to other oral appliances. In a small-scale study by the Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine, researchers compared devices like the MicrO2, which take impressions of your mouth digitally, to sleep appliances that use the traditional polyvinyl siloxane physical bite impression method. All five patients preferred the digital device. The digital impressions enabled the devices to fit better and didn’t require as many adjustments as the traditional impressions.
Fix Your Sleep by Fixing Your Bite
If you frequently wake up with headaches, or if you often find yourself nodding off while you’re driving or at work, it may be time to consult the experts about your sleep quality. Dr. Pamela Marzban can improve your bite, getting you better sleep and preventing health problems down the line.
To schedule an appointment for your obstructive sleep apnea, please call our Burke, Virginia dental office today at 703-323-8200.