In the past, CPAP has always been the golden standard when it came to sleep apnea treatment. However, CPAP doesn’t have the best long-term compliance rate. Oftentimes, patients will try CPAP for a month or two, find it too uncomfortable or inconvenient to wear and throw it in their closet never to be seen again. By doing this, their sleep apnea is not getting treatment. Without treatment, sleep apnea can cause significant health risks and have a large impact on daily quality of life.
At SoBe Dentist we understand that not every patient is the same and will have different preferences about their preferred sleep apnea treatment option. This is why we offer oral appliance therapy in Miami Beach as an alternative. Learn what really happens when you start oral appliance therapy.
Sleep More Comfortably
One of the first things you will notice when you switch from CPAP to oral appliance therapy is that sleep becomes more comfortable. You don’t have to deal with hoses, a loud machine, or an uncomfortable face mask. Instead, you will simply place the comfortable oral appliance in your mouth. You can move around freely in your bed to find your most comfortable sleeping position and fall asleep. Wearing the appliance feels very similar to wearing a nightguard. After a few nights, you won’t even notice it.
Wake Up Feeling Rested
With untreated sleep apnea, your body can wake up hundreds of times throughout the night. As a result, you would wake up feeling tired. During the day, it’s common for those with untreated sleep apnea to fall asleep while driving or take naps. With oral appliance therapy, these will soon be memories of your past. Oral appliances prevent your airway from becoming obstructed which allows you to sleep without waking up repeatedly throughout the night. The uninterrupted night of sleep will allow your body to reenergize for the following day. You will wake up feeling rested and full of energy! If you use your oral appliance every night, you can look forward to many days filled with energy ahead of you.
With a better night of sleep, you won’t just wake up feeling rested. Your mood will also improve. This is because a lack of sleep increases your stress levels. As your stress levels increase, it can contribute to anxiety, depression, and irritability. The only way to address the mood effects of sleep deprivation is by improving your sleep. By wearing an oral appliance at night, your airway will not collapse and therefore allow you to rest without interruption. With a proper night of sleep, your stress levels will decrease and any mood symptoms you were experiencing will dissipate.
Partner Sleeps Better
Another thing that will happen when you start using oral appliance therapy is that your sleeping partner will also start to sleep better. This is because you won’t be snoring loudly, coughing or choking throughout the night, or tossing and turning due to discomfort from using a CPAP. Your partner will get a better night of sleep which means your relationship will likely improve!
Better Focus and Memory
With a full night of rest thanks to oral appliance therapy, you will have the energy you need to concentrate at work. This can help improve your work performance so you can finally get that raise or promotion you’ve been working so hard for. It’s also helpful if you have a physical job because you won’t feel too exhausted to work. In addition to better focus, you will also have a better memory. You will no longer forget what you said in a meeting or to your kids about their homework.
More Energy For Exercise
One of the causes and effects of sleep apnea is obesity. Those who gain weight put themselves at a higher risk for sleep apnea, and those who have sleep apnea have a higher risk of gaining weight. By using oral appliance therapy, you will have the energy you need to squeeze in some extra steps or a consistent workout routine. This may help you maintain a healthier weight.
Healthier Food Choices
In addition to having the energy to exercise, using oral appliance therapy will also stabilize your hunger hormones. With untreated sleep apnea, it’s common to feel more hungry and crave sugary, starchy foods due to the lack of energy.
After treatment, you will start to make healthier food choices because your hunger hormones are more in balance.
No More Morning Headaches
Untreated sleep apnea can also cause morning headaches as a result of the lack of oxygen throughout the night. With oral appliance therapy, your airway will stay open all night long. This means you won’t wake up with morning headaches anymore.
Sleep Apnea and Overall Health Improves
One of the most exciting aspects of providing sleep apnea treatment to our patients is seeing how their health changes after treatment. We regularly see patients who aren’t compliant with CPAP and see their health suffer. Untreated sleep apnea can affect your daytime quality of life and also cause high blood pressure, diabetes, and increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and more.
Here is an example of a patient who wasn’t compliant with CPAP. We provided them with our signature oral appliance where the muscles, tongue, dentition, and central nervous system all rest in homeostasis. We had the patient retake a sleep test while wearing the device and the results showed that their apnea levels were in the normal and healthy range.