Oral appliances offer simple, non-invasive treatment for a variety of conditions. Regardless of the application, every appliance we prescribe is custom-crafted just for you. Whether we’re treating nighttime sleep grinding, a diagnosed case of obstructive sleep apnea, bite problems, or other jaw joint disorders, appliance therapy may be a valuable complement to your treatment. We use a variety of innovative designs depending on your treatment goals and preferences.
Some patients develop a subconscious habit of grinding their teeth, either during the day or at night. In many cases, the abrasive action occurs only during sleep, and for only a few seconds at a time. If you wake up with a sore jaw or a morning headache, chances are you are grinding your teeth during the night. In some patients, enlarged jaw muscles develop on the sides of the face from this nighttime grinding. These muscles are, ounce for ounce, the strongest in the body, which means they can do a lot of unnecessary damage.
The unusual activity not only wears down teeth and strains the overworked muscles, but compressive forces can also damage the complex jaw joints on one or both sides. Damage to the joints may lead to arthritic changes, chronic pain, and popping or clicking. Once these changes settle in, reversing their condition may become impossible.
Many people suffer needlessly from dangerous sleep disruptive disorders that keep them from getting enough oxygen at night. The risk of a heart attack is 23 times more likely than average with a sleep disorder, and 92% of stroke victims live unknowingly with sleep apnea before having a stroke.
OSA is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep due to a blockage in the airway. Obstructions occur when throat muscles, the tongue, tonsils, or the soft palate relax and cover the airway, preventing breathing. The obstruction results in a severe drop in blood oxygen levels throughout the night.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances as primary therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and for patients with severe sleep apnea who can’t tolerate CPAP treatment.
Oral appliances are devices that are placed inside the mouth to treat various dental or medical conditions. There are many different types of oral appliances, each designed for a specific purpose. Some examples include:
Oral appliances are often custom-made to fit each patient’s specific needs and are designed to be comfortable and effective. Dr. Christiansen can help determine if an oral appliance is right for you and recommend the best type of appliance for your needs.
Mouth guards can be effective in protecting teeth from grinding, which is also known as bruxism. When you wear a mouthguard, it creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, preventing them from coming into contact with each other and reducing the amount of damage caused by grinding.
However, it’s important to note that not all mouth guards are designed for this purpose. Boil-and-bite mouth guards that are commonly found in sports stores may not provide adequate protection for teeth grinding, as they are not specifically designed for this purpose. Instead, custom-made night guards, which are designed to fit your teeth precisely, are typically recommended for those who grind their teeth at night.
A night guard can also help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with teeth grinding, such as headaches, jaw pain, and tooth sensitivity. If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth, you should give Sunlight Dental a call. Dr. Christiansen can evaluate your teeth and recommend the best course of treatment.
Yes, oral appliances can be an effective treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in some cases. OSA occurs when the airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep, which can cause snoring, pauses in breathing, and other symptoms.
Oral appliances used to treat obstructive sleep apnea are typically designed to reposition the jaw and tongue to help keep the airway open during sleep. There are many different types of oral appliances for OSA, including mandibular advancement devices (MADs), tongue retaining devices, and palatal lifting devices.
MADs are the most commonly used type of oral appliance for OSA. They work by advancing the lower jaw forward, which helps to prevent the collapse of the airway. MADs are custom-made to fit each patient’s mouth and can be adjusted over time to achieve the best results.
Oral appliances are often recommended for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea who cannot tolerate or do not want to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is another common treatment for OSA. Your dental professional can evaluate your OSA symptoms and determine if an oral appliance is a suitable treatment option for you.
It’s important to note that oral appliances are not effective for everyone with OSA, and some patients may require a combination of treatments to effectively manage their symptoms.
Mouth guards and night guards can be an effective treatment option for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder – a condition that affects the joints and muscles that control jaw movement. TMJ disorder can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw, as well as headaches, ear pain, and other symptoms.
Mouth guards for TMJ disorder are typically designed to reposition the jaw to help alleviate pain and other symptoms. They work by placing the jaw in a more relaxed and natural position, which can reduce stress on the joints and muscles that control jaw movement.
There are two main types of mouth guards that are used to treat TMJ disorder: soft mouth guards and hard acrylic mouth guards. Soft mouth guards are made of a pliable material that conforms to the shape of the teeth and jaw. They are typically used to provide cushioning and support for the jaw, reducing pressure and stress on the TMJ. Hard acrylic mouth guards are custom-made to fit the patient’s teeth and jaw and are designed to reposition the jaw in a more comfortable position.
Mouth guards and night guards are often used in conjunction with other treatments for TMJ disorder, such as physical therapy, medication, and stress management techniques. Dr. Christiansen can evaluate your TMJ symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment for your needs.
You’re in the right place! Give Sunlight Dental a call or book your consultation online today to see how Dr. Christiansen can help address your sleep apnea concerns. We will go over all of your options so you can make an informed decision.
The coverage for a mouthguard used to treat TMJ disorder (TMD) will depend on your specific health insurance plan. Some health insurance plans may cover the cost of a mouthguard for TMD, while others may not.
In some cases, a mouthguard for TMD may be covered under your dental insurance plan rather than your medical insurance plan. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to determine what your plan covers and what out-of-pocket expenses you may be responsible for.
Additionally, the extent of your coverage may depend on the severity of your TMD symptoms and the specific treatment plan recommended. In some cases, a mouthguard may be one component of a larger treatment plan for TMD, which may include physical therapy, medication, and other interventions.
Before undergoing any treatment for TMD, it’s important to check with your insurance provider and understand your coverage and any associated costs. Dr. Christiansen can also help you navigate insurance coverage and recommend the best treatment plan for your needs.
If you have a custom mouthguard or night guard, it is essential to keep it clean to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other harmful substances that could affect your oral health. Cleaning your custom mouthguard is a simple process that can be done at home.
Here’s how to clean night guards and mouth guards:
By following these simple steps, you can keep your custom mouthguard or night guard clean and well-maintained, helping to ensure that it provides effective protection for your teeth and gums.
A night guard is a dental appliance that is designed to be worn while sleeping to protect the teeth and jaws from the effects of grinding or clenching. There are two main types of night guards: hard and soft.
The primary difference between a hard and soft night guard lies in the material they are made from. Hard night guards are made of a dense, rigid acrylic material that is designed to withstand the force of teeth grinding and provide maximum protection to the teeth. Soft night guards, on the other hand, are made from a more pliable material, such as silicone or rubber, that can be more comfortable to wear and may provide a better fit for people with a less severe teeth grinding or clenching habit.
While hard night guards may offer more protection against teeth grinding, they can also be more bulky and uncomfortable to wear, especially for people who have sensitive teeth or jaws. Soft night guards may be a better choice for people who have a milder teeth grinding habit or who have trouble adjusting to the sensation of wearing a night guard.
Ultimately, the choice between a hard and soft night guard depends on individual needs and preferences. Dr. Christiansen can help you determine which type of night guard is right for you based on your specific situation and the severity of your teeth grinding or clenching habit.
An OSA oral appliance is a dental appliance that is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The appliance works by repositioning the jaw and tongue to help keep the airway open, which can reduce or eliminate snoring and breathing pauses.
The use of an OSA oral appliance can have several positive effects on sleep apnea. First, it can improve the quality of sleep by reducing the frequency and duration of breathing pauses, which can lead to more restful sleep and improved daytime functioning. It can also reduce the severity of snoring, which can improve the sleep quality of bed partners and household members.
Moreover, OSA oral appliances are considered an effective alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is a common treatment for sleep apnea. While CPAP involves wearing a mask that delivers pressurized air to the airway to keep it open, OSA oral appliances are more comfortable and convenient for many people, as they are smaller and easier to wear.
In general, the use of an OSA oral appliance can significantly improve sleep apnea symptoms and help improve overall sleep quality and daytime functioning. However, it’s important to work with a healthcare professional to determine whether an oral appliance is the right treatment option for you, as some people may require additional therapies or treatments to fully manage their sleep apnea.
Snoring occurs when the soft tissues in the mouth and throat vibrate as air passes over them during breathing. A night guard for snoring works by repositioning the jaw and tongue to help prevent these tissues from vibrating, which can reduce or eliminate snoring. Additionally, a night guard can help improve breathing by keeping the airway open, which can reduce the risk of breathing pauses or interruptions that can lead to sleep apnea.
While a night guard for snoring can be effective for some people, it’s important to note that it may not be a suitable treatment option for everyone. Snoring can have many underlying causes, including obesity, alcohol consumption, and nasal congestion, among others. Additionally, if snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, a more comprehensive treatment plan may be necessary to manage the condition.
If you’re experiencing snoring or other sleep-related issues, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and identify the most appropriate treatment options for your needs. Dr. Christiansen can evaluate your symptoms, perform any necessary tests or assessments, and help you develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs and preferences.
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