Oral Appliances / Mouthguards
Many different oral appliances can be used to improve your dental health. Some of these appliances are designed to help with specific conditions, while others can be used for general oral care. At Tencza & Pugliese Dental, we will work with you to determine which oral appliance is right for you.
Reasons We May Recommend an Oral Appliance
There are many reasons why your dentist may recommend an oral appliance. For example, some oral appliances treat sleep apnea or TMJ disorders. Others may be recommended to help with grinding or support your jaws and teeth during sporting activities.
At Tencza & Pugliese Dental, we provide dental appliances for our patients who experience moderate sleep apnea and bruxism or teeth grinding.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
One of the most common reasons for oral appliance therapy is to treat sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Oral appliance therapy can help keep your airway open and prevent sleep apnea. Severe sleep apnea may require oral appliance therapy and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) treatment.
Teeth Grinding Prevention
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a condition that can cause damage to your teeth. Grinding can lead to tooth sensitivity, headaches, and jaw pain. An oral appliance can prevent teeth grinding by keeping your teeth in alignment and preventing them from touching.
Many patients may not even realize they grind their teeth or experience sleep apnea at night. However, some signs may indicate that you grind your teeth. These signs include:
- Waking up with a headache or jaw pain
- Teeth that are flattened, chipped, or cracked
- Tooth sensitivity
- Jaw pain or clicking
- Daytime sleepiness
If you experience any of these signs, please schedule an appointment with us so that we can discuss oral appliance therapy.
What is oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea?
Oral appliance therapy is a treatment option for people with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is when your breathing is interrupted during sleep. This interruption can happen when the muscles in your throat relax and block your airway. Oral appliance therapy can help keep your airway open and prevent sleep apnea.
It involves using a mouthpiece or oral appliance to keep your upper airway open during sleep.
Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for many people with sleep apnea. It is often used as an alternative to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy. Oral appliance therapy is less invasive and more comfortable for most patients.
How does oral appliance therapy work?
Appliance therapy can be used to help treat obstructive sleep apnea. There are two types of oral appliances: mandibular advancement devices and tongue-retaining devices.
A mandibular advancement device works by moving your lower jaw forward, opening your airway, and preventing your tongue from blocking it.
Tongue-retaining devices work by holding your tongue in place. This also prevents your tongue from blocking your airway.
Oral appliance therapy is usually done with a custom-made oral appliance. The oral appliance is made to fit your mouth and teeth, and it will be comfortable to wear and will not interfere with your ability to speak or breathe. Your oral appliance will need to be adjusted over time to ensure it is effective. You may need to see our dental sleep medicine specialist for follow-up appointments.
What are nightguards, and how do they help with teeth grinding?
Nightguards are oral appliances worn at night to prevent teeth from grinding. Teeth grinding can cause damage to your teeth and jaw, and it can also lead to headaches and jaw pain. Nightguards are custom-made oral appliances that fit over your teeth, and they help keep your teeth in place and prevent them from grinding.
Nightguards are usually made of soft materials such as silicone or plastic. You can wear them on either the upper or lower teeth. Nightguards are comfortable to wear and will not interfere with your sleep.
Oral Appliance Treatment at Tencza & Pugliese Dental
At Tencza & Pugliese Dental, we offer oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea and teeth grinding. We will work with you to find the right oral appliance for you. We will make sure your dental device fits appropriately and provide instructions on caring for your oral device.
Oral appliance therapy is a safe and effective treatment for many people. If you think that oral appliance therapy may be right for you, please call us at Tencza & Pugliese Dental to schedule an appointment.