Oral Appliance Therapy: Are there any long-term issues?

Koos-Admin  -  Dec 19, 2013  -  Comments Off on Oral Appliance Therapy: Are there any long-term issues?

Many patients who suffer from sleep apnea try to find a sleep apnea cure that will eliminate their symptoms and improve their well-being.

One possible sleep apnea cure is an oral appliance that holds the patient’s tongue or jaw in a position that prevents the airway obstruction that causes the apneic episodes in which the patient temporarily stops breathing for a short period of time.

An oral surgeon can design an appliance so that it specifically fits the patient’s unique oral structures. This offers the patient maximum comfort so that the appliance won’t interfere with sleep.

Such an appliance must be worn on a daily basis, and many patients will need to wear the appliance for long periods of time because their sleep apnea may return without this treatment.

Understandably, many patients are concerned about the long-term effects of oral appliance therapy. Indeed, the appliance can pose some risks for patients. Gum disease can result from wearing an oral appliance that irritates the gums. Similarly, an oral appliance can change the biting surface of the teeth or create spaces between the teeth.

The risks of these effects are typically highest when the patient wears a poorly designed or ill-fitting device, and rare in other cases. Patients should choose an oral surgeon who has extensive experience with oral appliance therapy and has achieved positive outcomes with previous patients.

The consequences of sleep apnea are significant. Not only does sleep apnea have detrimental effects on the patient’s quality of life, the condition also has been linked with other serious health issues like high blood pressure and stroke. Therefore, it’s important to get treatment for the condition if you have been diagnosed with it.

Many patients respond to oral appliance therapy, which offers a comfortable, convenient treatment for sleep apnea. By working with our dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeon who has extensive experience in designing custom-made oral appliances for sleep apnea, you can minimize your risks of negative outcomes.

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