Sleep is a Beautiful Thing
Sleep apnea compromises the lives of millions of Americans. Life can be miserable without adequate rest. You might think it is impossible to nod off with commotion, noise of fans screaming, intercom blaring, but many people actually do.
If this sounds familiar a visit to the doctor is probably a good idea. Typically you will be asked to complete the Epworth Sleepiness Scale; this quick test may indicate a sleep disorder. Depending on your score a doctor may ask you to take part in an overnight sleep study at the local sleep center to make a definitive diagnosis.
Once the sleep study is complete, diagnosis can be determined whether there is obstructive sleep apnea occurring. Most often treatment with a C-PAP machine is recommended. It works great if you can get used to the mask on your face, and the noise. If you can’t wear it there are alternatives.
For many, sleep apnea is treatable with an oral appliance. A mandibular repositioning device (MRD) is one of the many treatment options available for sleep apnea patients. It is a custom-made, adjustable oral appliance available from a dentist that holds the lower jaw in a forward position during sleep. This mechanical protrusion expands the space behind the tongue, puts tension on the pharyngeal walls to reduce collapse of the airway and diminishes palate vibration.
The dentist will have you wear this device and should re-test you to make sure the device is working.
If you suffer from sleep apnea or are not sure, see your doctor and dentist to find out more.