A good night’s sleep has the power to restore the body and enliven the mind. For the 18 million Americans who experience symptoms of sleep apnea, a good night’s sleep also has the power to save their lives. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious, life-threatening disorder that is characterized as a series of episodes in which a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep.
Treatment options for sleep apnea vary depending on the severity of the disorder. An individual with mild sleep apnea may need to make behavioral changes such as altering the sleeping position, losing weight, or quitting smoking, as well as wearing a dental appliance during sleep. A dental appliance for sleep apnea, which looks similar to an athletic mouthguard, repositions the jaw and tongue to improve airflow.