Oral appliances offer simple, non-invasive treatment for a variety of conditions. Regardless of the application, every appliance we prescribe is custom-crafted just for you. Whether we’re treating nighttime sleep grinding, a diagnosed case of obstructive sleep apnea, bite problems, or other jaw joint disorders, appliance therapy may be a valuable complement to your treatment. We use a variety of innovative designs depending on your treatment goals and preferences.
Some patients develop a subconscious habit of grinding their teeth, either during the day or at night. In many cases, the abrasive action occurs only during sleep, and for only a few seconds at a time. If you wake up with a sore jaw or a morning headache, chances are you are grinding your teeth during the night. In some patients, enlarged jaw muscles develop on the sides of the face from this nighttime grinding. These muscles are, ounce for ounce, the strongest in the body, which means they can do a lot of unnecessary damage.
The unusual activity not only wears down teeth and strains the overworked muscles, but compressive forces can also damage the complex jaw joints on one or both sides. Damage to the joints may lead to arthritic changes, chronic pain, and popping or clicking. Once these changes settle in, reversing their condition may become impossible.
Many people suffer needlessly from dangerous sleep disruptive disorders that keep them from getting enough oxygen at night. The risk of a heart attack is 23 times more likely than average with a sleep disorder, and 92% of stroke victims live unknowingly with sleep apnea before having a stroke.
OSA is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep due to a blockage in the airway. Obstructions occur when throat muscles, the tongue, tonsils, or the soft palate relax and cover the airway, preventing breathing. The obstruction results in a severe drop in blood oxygen levels throughout the night.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances as primary therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and for patients with severe sleep apnea who can’t tolerate CPAP treatment.
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