Sleep Appliances

Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you prone to snoring? Do you suspect you may have sleep apnea or some form of sleeping disorder? Oral appliance therapy can be an effective treatment for certain types of sleep disorders and anatomically related sleep apnea caused by airway obstruction.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of breathing disorder that prevents oxygen from reaching your brain and lungs while you sleep. OSA occurs when the soft tissues such as your tongue, tonsils, and soft palate collapse against each other  and block off the back of your throat.

When obstruction occurs, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen, causing an increase in blood pressure.

OSA can raise your risk of serious health problems, such as stroke and heart attack. Although you might not consider sleep apnea or snoring a major issue, treating them could save your life.

Symptoms of Sleeping Disorders

Warning signs can vary depending on your sleeping disorder and its severity. While many people consider snoring to be a red flag for sleep apnea, not everyone with OSA will snore and not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

Dr. Hernández can screen for oral symptoms of sleep apnea during your dental exam. Our in-house CBCT scanner also shows us whether or not there is a physical restriction of airflow in your upper airway during your dental exam. If a sleep study is required, we can arrange for you to have an “at home” test performed, where you wear a small device, and the bedside machine records all of your sleep statistics for a specialist to interpret at a later date. 

If you suspect that you have a form of sleep apnea, watch for symptoms of:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Gaining weight
  • TMJ disorder (TMD)
  • Earaches
  • Worn, chipped, or flat teeth
  • High blood pressure
  • A larger-than-normal neck circumference
  • Difficulty concentrating

Oral Appliance for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Specially fitted oral appliances can help to naturally open your airway, eliminating snoring and managing the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. These special sleep mouthguards need to be fitted by a specially trained dentist with experience in sleep medicine. Dr. José Hernández can fit and deliver these alternative sleeping appliances at our office in Horizon City, sometimes eliminating the need for our patients to wear a CPAP at night. 

Oral sleep appliances may also be covered by your medical insurance in some cases. 

To be fitted for an oral sleep appliance, Dr. Hernández will take a series of impressions or scans, then have the device fitted to your jaws and teeth. The mouthguard will slightly move your lower jaw in an anterior position, reducing airway blockage in the back of your throat. Oral sleep appliances can only be provided by trained dentists. These are medical-grade devices and must be fitted by professionals, but they are not available in doctor’s offices because they technically fall under the field of dental prosthetics. These devices can also be prescribed by your sleep doctor or pulmonologist and fulfilled at our Horizon City office.