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How myofunctional therapy could put your sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing to bed

Elite Dental of Staten Island can help you beat your sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing symptoms for good through myofunctional therapy

Are you constantly tired during the day? Do you snore loudly, or wake up frequently with headaches? You could be suffering from sleep apnea, and it may be time to consider myofunctional therapy.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common disorder which inhibits your breathing while you sleep and affects millions of people worldwide. Many people are unaware of sleep apnea, and simply pass their symptoms off as a bad case of snoring. In fact, it is a far more complex and a potentially deadly condition.

During sleep, a sleep apnea sufferer’s upper airway collapses, blocking the flow of oxygen into the chest cavity to the point where only a limited amount of oxygen is reaching the lungs. This lack of oxygen triggers an alert to your brain, which response by waking you up enough that you will gasp to re-start the flow. Whilst sleep apnea sufferers more often than not have no memory of it, this response can occur hundreds of times in one night and leave them constantly tired due to a lack of deep, restful sleep.

How sleep apnea can affect the body

The dangers of sleep apnea are many and your body’s inability to get the proper rest results in fatigue and a lack of concentration. But there are longer-term effects which also need to be considered. Sleep apnea has also been linked to the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

Sleep apnea sufferers have also been found to be two to five times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Orofacial myofunctional disorder; the foundation of sleep apnea

Orofacial myofunctional disorder refers to the improper development of the muscles which control the face and jaw, including the tongue. It can affect most of the functions of the mouth, including breathing, speaking, eating, chewing and swallowing. And it’s now known it is one of the biggest contributing factors to sleep apnea later in life. But all is not lost; through myofunctional therapy, it is possible to retrain these muscles so they perform at their optimum levels of efficiency.

Using myofunctional therapy to treat sleep apnea

All the muscles in your throat, mouth and the rest of your face, need to be working as they were intended to stop sleep apnea. Myofunctional therapy works using either repetitive exercises to create a better synergy of these muscles or an appliance such as a Myobrace. The treatment is focused on enhancing the strength and coordination of the facial muscles and tongue. Generally, myofunctional therapy should continue for at least six months.

Working on behavioral changes and training of the face and tongue allows the patient to achieve the ideal resting posture. This means the lips are together with the tongue lightly pressed up against the roof of your mouth, and breathing is through the nose, not the mouth. Myofunctional therapy’s success rate sits at around 80-90%.

If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing and want an effective treatment please contact us today find out more about myofunctional therapy and how it could help you.