According to the Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million American adults experience sleep apnea, which means over 5 percent of the population is dealing with some kind of brief, repeated obstruction to their breathing during the night. It happens when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, causing the sleeper to stop breathing for short periods and then gasping when the breath returns.
It can be a frightening thing to observe for anyone sharing a bed with a sufferer of sleep apnea, and those actually experiencing the apnea may find themselves with headaches and an unceasing exhaustion that comes as a result of having REM sleep broken up by choking fits.
Put simply, it’s not a fun condition to have, and while many people will have sleep apnea diagnosed during a sleep study and get themselves a CPAP machine, those machines don’t work for everybody and sometimes aren’t even necessary when a dental appliance could do the trick. Can a dentist treat your sleep apnea effectively? Of course they can! Here at Perfecting smile, we offer something called a TAP appliance that works wonders.
Put simply, a TAP is a comfortable oral device that repositions the lower jaw and tongue to help open the airways and allow more satisfying, uninterrupted sleep. It doesn’t require surgery, but it has been prescribed by over 7,000 dentists worldwide and has had its usefulness studied in over 30 peer-reviewed studies. In short, it’s a simpler solution to sleep apnea that really does work.
The question, of course, is how does it work? Basically, the TAP holds the wearer’s lower jaw in a forward position while they sleep. This keeps the jaw from dropping open while sleeping, and since that is exactly the sort of thing that causes that loud snoring and breath catching, removing those issues is a major step toward ridding the sleeper of their apnea. The devices are adjustable, which means you will be able to try different settings until you find one that works for you. When working properly, you will not experience any discomfort or irregularities in bite.
There are a few important benefits to using the TAP implement, including:
If you would like to talk with Dr. Pete about how the TAP device could work well for you and your sleep apnea issues, set up an appointment at our offices today. We would love to help you (and your partner) get a better night’s sleep!
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