Oral Appliance Therapy, or OAT, involves a special appliance that is custom-made to fit inside your mouth to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Snoring is sometimes a sign of sleep apnea, though we do not mean to say that if you snore that you have sleep apnea. Either way, the appliance helps reduce these effects of sleep apnea and snoring to allow you to sleep more soundly.
Sleep apnea happens when the soft tissues in our mouths, such as our tongue, fall back and block our throat passages. This can bring our breathing to a halt, which can give us many, many unpleasant wake-up calls during the night, which disrupts our sleep and leaves us tired throughout the day. The reduced oxygen during the night from both sleep apnea and snoring can also dampen our wakefulness.
Our oral appliances work by keeping your mandible (the lower jaw), tongue, and other soft tissues from slipping out of position and closing up your airway. This gives you the amount of oxygen you need so you do not wake up so many times during the night and have a more relaxing, fulfilling sleep. Our brain and body can also get more of the requisite oxygen they need.
Here at Refresh Dental in Bentonville, Arkansas, our sleep dentist, Drs. Hedgecock and Kerr, will work hard to determine how best to help you sleep better. We will work alongside your sleep or primary doctor to learn how to best treat you. Please call our office at 479-339-0081 to learn more about OAT and what it can do for you.