Snoring and Sleep Apnea
"I just had an appliance done by Dr. Schleicher for TMJ and after one week of wearing this appliance I don't have these huge knots behind by ears and behind my head from grinding my teeth all night! The appliance took only 2 nights to get use to but I don't grind my teeth all night long anymore!!! Dr. Schleicher is so personal and even took time to email me the first day I met him and the entire staff is wonderful. He's not my regular dentist but if I lived closer to him I'm sure he would be! My husband is also seeing him for snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. Schleicher has made him an appliance as well and his snoring is so much better already. I'm sure with a few more adjustments of this appliance and he won't be snoring anymore. So my husband and I love Dr. Schleicher!!! "
J.P Houston, Texas
Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that many patients have diagnosed by a general physician. However, the treatment solution often suggested by these physicians is a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure. This device is typically considered the “gold standard” for obstructive sleep apnea, but many patients are not compliant with it because CPAP machines can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. As low as 50 percent of patients who are instructed to use these devices actually continue to utilize them every night. This increases their risk for medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart failure, strokes, and problems such as daytime tiredness, which may result in patients falling asleep while driving and putting themselves and others in harm’s way.
Many patients in the Houston area do not comply with CPAP treatment because of the following reasons:
- The mask is not comfortable
- The mask is taken off to use the restroom and is not put back on afterwards
- The mask irritates the nose and the skin around it
- The mask leaks air
- The mask irritates the sinuses and stomach due to air intake
- Pressure caused by the CPAP is bothersome
- The machine is noisy and keeps patients from being able to rest
- The machine makes patients claustrophobic
- Tubes get in the way of sleeping
- The air is too dry or the wrong temperature
Whatever the reason, some patients are not tolerant of CPAP treatment, and this is when they seek alternative solutions such as oral appliance therapy. Our doctors are specially trained to provide oral appliances, which are highly recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The academy states that oral appliances should be the first line of therapy for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Compliance with oral appliance therapy is much higher and allows patients to treat their condition in a way that is comfortable, affordable, and allows them to address the symptoms caused by the disorder.
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