It is estimated that more than 18 million Americans suffer from Sleep Apnea, when a person’s airway gets blocked while sleeping. This will often happen because a person is overweight, and additional tissue thickens the wall of the windpipe, making it more difficult to keep open. And, sometimes, it is because the throat muscles relax more than normal. A long, bony neck can also make for a narrower airway, leading to sleep apnea.
The most common treatment option is the use of a CPAP machine. However, many patients are non-compliant to this form of treatment and do not want to undergo surgery. When this occurs, their best option may be oral appliance therapy, which a dentist provides. By wearing an oral appliance, it opens the airway by pushing the lower jaw forward and is more comfortable than a CPAP machine.