Sleep apnea is characterized by the spontaneous suspension of breathing during sleep. The majority of sleep apnea cases fall into the obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) category which is caused by narrowing or collapse of your airway as you sleep. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to restless sleep, fatigue during the day, loud snoring, high blood pressure, and even death.
The standard treatment for OSA is positive airway pressure in the form of a machine that forces air into your nose during sleep. However, this treatment requires wearing a mask, and many people find it uncomfortable or intolerable. But there is often an alternative.
A sleep apnea appliance from Shoop Dentistry gently advances your mandible – or jaw – forward to widen your airway, preventing apneic episodes and snoring. Dr. Shoop can examine your oral and airway anatomy to determine if such an appliance may help you. If you can benefit from a sleep apnea appliance, you will only need to wear it while sleeping and can remove it while awake.
Interested in learning more? Just give us a call at (253) 946-3575 now!