A mouthguard is a device that you wear in your mouth to protect your teeth from injury. It can be used for sports and is often worn by athletes who play contact sports, like football and boxing.
But what about sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a condition where the throat muscles relax and block the airway during sleep, causing breathing to stop for a short time. This can happen many times during the night, leading to snoring and poor quality of sleep.
A mouthguard can help reduce snoring in some people with sleep apnea, but it's not effective for everyone. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about whether a mouthguard might be right for you.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person's breathing stops and starts as they sleep. This can happen as many as 30 times per hour for anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.
Sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues, including high blood pressure and heart disease. People with the disorder are also at increased risk of stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and depression.
A person with sleep apnea has trouble falling asleep because of their breathing problems, and once they do fall asleep, they don't get enough restorative sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).
The NSF estimates that millions of Americans have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the most common type of sleep apnea. OSA occurs when your upper airway becomes blocked or narrowed during sleep; this causes you to temporarily stop breathing or breathe shallowly until your brain reacts by waking you up so that you can start breathing again.
There are two types of OSA: central and obstructive. CSA happens when your brain doesn't send signals properly to your respiratory muscles so they can work properly; this causes blood oxygen levels to drop and carbon dioxide levels to increase in response.
Why is a Mouthguard Prescribed for Sleep Apnea?
A mouthguard is sometimes prescribed as an alternative to CPAP because it keeps your jaw in place and prevents you from opening your mouth during sleep. This helps prevent the airway from collapsing when you breathe in or out.
Mouthguards are not used as often as they should be because they are uncomfortable and can be difficult to wear.
A mouthguard can effectively help protect the teeth from damage that can result from the frequent opening and closing of the jaw during sleep. The jaw muscles are relaxed during sleep, and the airway collapses when their support is removed.
This results in airway obstruction, which causes snoring as well as a reduction in oxygen levels in the blood. If left untreated, this can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Tips for Choosing a Mouthguard
The idea behind this theory is that a mouthguard will keep your jaw from falling forward and blocking the airway during sleep. While this may be true for some, there are many factors that can contribute to sleep apnea, including genetics, weight gain or loss, pregnancy (especially if you're expecting twins), smoking or drinking alcohol before bedtime - so don't expect this one solution to solve all your problems! However, if you are interested in trying one out, make sure you follow these tips:
Talk to your doctor about what type of mouthguard is best for your needs.
Choose a brand that fits comfortably into your mouth without causing pain or discomfort.
Make sure the guard has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What to Look for in a Mouthguard for Sleep Apnea
A good mouthguard must be comfortable and durable, but it should also be designed to fit the needs of your sleep apnea. If you're looking for a good mouthguard, consider these key factors:
How comfortable is the mouthguard? Does it move around or shift when you're wearing it? Can you breathe easily while wearing it? A comfortable mouthguard will reduce the risk of jaw soreness and injury.
Does the mouthguard last through multiple uses without breaking? A durable product will save you money in long-term costs and frustration with a flimsy item that breaks easily.
Is the mouthguard specifically designed for people who have sleep apnea? Are there any features that will help keep your airway open while you sleep, such as an elevated bite plate or special cushioning materials? The more features, the better!
How Can a Mouthguard Help With Sleep Apnea?
If you run a home sleep apnea test and find out you have sleep apnea, a mouthguard can be a helpful way to get better sleep.
Sleep apnea causes pauses in breathing during sleep. People who have sleep apnea often feel tired throughout the day, and they may snore loudly or stop breathing for long periods of time during their sleep.
While it's normal for people to take pauses in breathing while they sleep, those with sleep apnea experience these pauses much more frequently than others.
The most frequent cause of sleep apnea is excess tissue in the back of the throat (called "soft palate"). This tissue can block airflow into the lungs, causing someone to stop breathing temporarily. The soft palate grows as we age and become overweight, which means that older adults and overweight individuals are more likely to have this problem.
When you wear a mouthguard while sleeping, it helps keep your airway open by preventing your soft palate from blocking it. This allows you to breathe normally while you sleep, which can improve your quality of life and prevent fatigue during the day.
The benefits of using a mouthguard for insomnia treatment online are clear. Mouthguards can help you sleep better and feel more rested in the morning, which means you'll be able to wake up and tackle the day with a clearer head.
If you're struggling with sleep apnea, run an at-home sleep study, and consult a doctor online about getting fitted for a mouthguard. A sleep medicine doctor will be able to confirm if you have the condition and determine if using a guard will help improve your sleep quality.
If you think that you may have sleep apnea, contact the experts at SleepRx to get started today!