Health Benefits of Treatment Sleep Apnea with an Oral Appliance

Sleep Apnea Columbia, MD

Individuals that have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea may be considering all of the different options for treatment in order to get a restful night of sleep. While one may feel like a cumbersome sleep machine, such as a bi-PAP or CPAP, is the only option, there may be some less invasive options that can get the same results!

The basics of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that many people face without even knowing it. This condition is when patients stop breathing while they sleep. Sometimes the cessation in breathing is only for a second, or occasionally several seconds. As people hold their breath, the brain suddenly becomes aware that it is not receiving oxygen and forces the individual to wake up to take a breath.

While sleep apnea may not appear to be dangerous on the surface, it comes with a host of medical issues that go beyond just feeling sleepy the next day. Sleep apnea is also associated with an increased chance of stroke, heart disease, and heart failure. While these are serious issues, there are several things that one can do to help resolve sleep apnea.

Diagnosing sleep apnea

Typically, individuals who have sleep apnea do not even know that they suffer from the condition. Frequently a loved one notices an increase in snoring, irregular breathing, or jerking awake during the night. While this may seem ordinary, they are all warning signs of sleep apnea, and it is crucial to get additional help. 

If a doctor suspects that a person has sleep apnea, they will likely order a sleep test to be conducted. A sleep test requires one to wear some special equipment while sleeping. Sometimes this is as simple as a particular monitor that attaches to the finger while sleeping. The following day, a doctor will study the results of the test and make an appropriate diagnosis.

The causes of sleep apnea

There are a variety of different reasons that an individual may suffer from sleep apnea. One of the most common reasons people have sleep apnea is because as they fall asleep and relax, their tongue also relaxes. While the tongue sits appropriately in the mouth so you can breathe, a relaxed tongue may slip back in the throat and block your airway. Additionally, some medical issues can cause sleep apnea.


There are a few different ways that sleep apnea can be treated. One of the most recognizable is a breathing machine that pushes (or pushes and pulls) air through a tight-fitting mask that goes over the mouth and nose while sleeping. While this machine may help stop sleep apnea, they are often cumbersome and prone to bacterial buildups.

Another option is an oral appliance that helps correct the position of the mouth, tongue, and airway. These appliances can be specially designed by a dentist and are only worn while sleeping. They are much smaller and easy to take along when traveling. Additionally, keeping an oral appliance clean and free from infection is much easier than cleaning a bulky machine.

Request an appointment here: or call Columbia Advanced Dental Studio at (410) 635-5105 for an appointment in our Columbia office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea in Columbia, MD.

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