Oral appliance therapy offers a good alternative to patients with sleep apnea who cannot tolerate the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask. The oral appliances fit like a nightguard, with minimal disruption to sleep and comfort, whereas the CPAP mask can interfere with your sleep almost as much as the apnea itself.
Patients who wear dentures may have concern that those dentures will not be compatible with a sleep apnea appliance and that they have no options other than a CPAP mask.
The good news is that denture wearers don’t have to give up on using a sleep apnea appliance to address this condition. In fact, the appliance can be designed to fit a model of the denture rather than biological teeth.
The principles of treatment are the same whether biological or prosthetic teeth are involved. The oral appliance will reposition the structures of the oral cavity in a way that prevents the soft tissues at the rear of the mouth from obstructing the airway opening. That phenomenon is the most common cause of sleep apnea.
The oral surgeon can also design an appliance that will replace your denture while you sleep. This may be the preferred solution because it gives your mouth a break from your dentures and gives you an opportunity to soak the dentures to continue to keep them clean.
Sleep apnea has potentially serious consequences for a person’s health, increasing the risk of issues like stroke and heart disease. This condition also interferes with the quality of your sleep, which can reduce your effectiveness at work during the day and create challenges for completing even routine activities. Effective treatment for this condition is important to your health and your quality of life.
Oral appliances often achieve positive results in sleep apnea patients, so even if you wear dentures, don’t count out these devices as a possible solution for you. Talk to our oral surgeons at ORA® Oral Surgery, Sleep Disorder & Implant Studio to see if you could tolerate a sleep apnea appliance. Call 312-328-9000 to schedule your informative consultation today.