Why combine self care with a customized dental appliance for sleep apnea in Indianapolis
Obstructive sleep apnea can be a frightening diagnosis. In the end, however, it is better to pinpoint the cause of loud snoring and pauses in breathing than to continue allowing this condition to rob you of sleep and quality of life. Yes, obstructive sleep apnea is a very concerning condition. There are, however, treatment options such as the customized dental appliance that are ideal for comfortable sleep apnea improvement. In our Indianapolis dental office, we encourage patients to combine their oral appliance therapy with lifestyle changes when applicable. Some suggestions for decreasing the risk of further apnea include:
- Lose excess weight if obesity is a problem. When there is too much fat tissue in the neck area, the pressure of relaxed muscles can be enough to close off the airway during sleep. In studies, weight loss has improved the prognosis of sleep apnea patients.
- Stop smoking. Smoking is a habit that leads to fluid retention as well as inflammation in the mouth and throat, as well as the lungs.
- Set a regular sleep schedule. When the body gets into a routine for sleep, it is better able to relax.
- Avoid the use of sleep aids such as sedatives or even alcohol. Such substances may promote relaxation or sleep, but they can produce interference with breathing, as well.
A customized oral appliance designed by your dentist for obstructive sleep apnea makes a wonderful alternative to medical treatment with CPAP. When using a small, portable oral appliance, it is possible to also incorporate habits into your sleeping routine in a more comfortable manner. These habits may include:
- Elevating the head slightly when sleeping. An even better option is to elevate the torso so that you are sleeping in a comfortable reclined position but not flat.
- Side sleeping provides a way for many sleep apnea sufferers to keep the airway open throughout the night. Staying in the side position may be most comfortable by placing pillows behind your back to keep you from turning the wrong way.
- Reducing nasal congestion. This may be accomplished by sleeping with a humidifier or by using saline spray in the nostrils at bedtime.
In combination, oral appliance therapy from Dr. Church and modifications to sleep and lifestyle can lead to excellent results. Call (317) 333-6788 for more information or to schedule your visit at Washington Street Dentistry.