As people sleep, the muscles in the mouth, throat, and jaw naturally relax. But for Athens Oconee Dentistry patients with obstructive sleep apnea in Watkinsville, their muscles loosen so much, they often cave-in and block the airway. As a result, the obstructed airway impairs normal breathing. The oxygen loss causes sleep apnea sufferers to wake up repeatedly throughout the night. This cycle can repeat hundreds of times throughout the night making it impossible to achieve a restful sleep.
It is common for Athens Oconee Dentistry patients with severe sleep apnea to be prescribed a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure). Compressed air is delivered through a plastic tube connected to a face mask, nasal pillow or a nose mask. The steady stream of pressure keeps the airway open to maintain normal breathing. While CPAP is the standard sleep apnea treatment, about 40 percent of sufferers follow through with wearing the masks. CPAP can be problematic for the following reasons:
Advances in modern dental technology have made it possible to treat sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy in Watkinsville. Custom OAT at Athens Oconee Dentistry helps the jaw move forward during sleep, keeping the airway open for freer breathing.
Minor cases of sleep apnea, that do not require an invasive procedure or CPAP, it is possible to achieve a healthy night’s sleep with a custom fitted sleep apnea mouth appliance. This type of custom-fitted oral device will keep the airway open allowing normal breathing overnight. We offer several options at Athens Oconee Dentistry to suit the varying needs of different sleep apnea patients. We will work with your sleep physician to come up with the best treatment plan that will result in a full night’s sleep. The conservative approach is always the goal for cases that are not severe.