There are a lot of things you can probably do yourself: change your oil, make a cake or even home-remodeling projects. But there are some things you simply shouldn't tackle yourself. One of those things is making your sleep apnea appliances! While do-it-yourself dentistry is a growing trend, we recommend that you don't DIY. And here are a few reasons why you should leave dental appliances to the dentists!
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that causes interruptions in breathing during sleep. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the airway becomes blocked during sleep. In most cases, blockages to the airway are caused by the muscles of the throat collapsing and obstructing air, or by the tongue falling back to block the airway.
Untreated sleep apnea is dangerous and leaves you at risk of chronic illness, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, and at risk of acute health problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.
What Are Sleep Apnea Appliances?
Sleep apnea appliances, also often known as mandibular advancement appliances or even snore guards, are oral appliances worn to help prevent the interruptions in breathing during sleep that occur with sleep breathing disorders such as sleep apnea.
Why Not DIY?
DIY appliances, also referred to 'boil and bite' mouthpieces, can actually cause more problems than they fix. Here are a few other reasons not to go the DIY route.
1. They don't work well. These DIY mouth guards may work for snoring, but they tend to not work for your sleep apnea. As a result, you may think you're 'cured,' but you're not. This means you are still at risk of severe health issues, which can be fatal.
2. They change your bite. These mouth guards can negatively impact your bite, which can cause problems with your jaw joints in some cases and may lead to the development of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD.
3. They're not custom fit. Since they do not fit precisely to your teeth, you could end up causing unintended damage to the teeth and the device during sleep. There's also a risk that these appliances can dislodge during sleep, too, because they do not fit properly.
These are just some of the issues associated with these DIY sleep apnea appliances. If you need a sleep apnea appliance or you are living with untreated sleep apnea, it's worth a call to Legends Dental to discuss your treatment options. Call 254-799-9540 for more information and to get scheduled!