If you struggle with feeling rested after sleeping all night and you snore while you sleep, there is a good chance you might be living with a sleep disorder that dentists and doctors call sleep apnea. This condition, if mild, can be treated with the use of a mouth guard. You can purchase one of these in stores or online, or you can have one custom-made for you. If you are thinking about purchasing an over-the-counter mouth guard, here are a couple of things to know.
The Purpose of a Mouth Guard
When you suffer from sleep apnea, what you essentially do while you sleep is stop breathing. This occurs when the tissue in the back of your throat becomes so relaxed while you sleep that it actually cuts off the air supply you need. When this occurs, you may gasp for breath in your sleep, even though you will not know you do this, and this starts your breathing up again.
Wearing a mouth guard stops this from occurring by providing a space for your air. The mouth guard forces your lower jaw forward slightly, and this keeps your throat open. Your tissue may still relax while you sleep; however, it will not prevent you from breathing, as there will be a gap created by the mouth guard.
The Problems with Over-the-Counter Mouth Guards
A lot of people that have sleep apnea or suspect that they have it will turn to over-the-counter mouth guards first, as these are more affordable to purchase. While these may work for some people, a lot of people will still experience problems with these. One problem is pain in their mouths. An over-the-counter mouth guard might not fit quite right. If this is the case and you wear it while you sleep, you could wake up with a sore jaw, sore teeth, and a sore mouth. A second problem is that if it does not fit right, it might not be opening up your airway enough.
The Better Option
The best thing you could do if you suspect you have this condition is to tell your doctor or dentist. Either type of professional can help you take the right steps for diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. Through this method, you can undergo a sleep study to find out the intensity of your sleep apnea. Additionally, you will be able to get a custom-made mouth guard to use while you sleep, and this will provide more relief to you and cause less pain than an over-the-counter device.
For more information, reach out to sleep apnea dental treatment services.