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The Gift of Sleep

A typical gift for dad on Father’s Day is often a chance to simply “sleep in.” Such is the nature of modern life that slumber is something to give as reward. In a perfect world, sleep would be the norm rather than a rarity. 

Whether it’s the more serious obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or the annoyance of snoring, the gift of sleep can indeed be more precious than gold. In 2020, sleep medicine specialists and the mass media have finally “caught on” to the notion that sleep is elusive, with countless articles and tips. 

One of many articles from early June 2020 lays out several facts about sleep apnea, including treatments. In what may indeed be a sign of the times, Fact #5 highlights oral appliances as a treatment for sleep apnea, instead of the more traditional CPAP. 

“Once a sleep assessment is taken, the center offers its patients oral therapy with a device that is fitted to your mouth by a specialist,” writes KSAT staff members. “The oral appliance will free your lungs so that you may get the proper airflow and stop snoring while sleeping.” 

Also known as “oral appliances,” these devices advance the mandible (lower jaw) to open the airway and treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. “The fact that KSAT chose to highlight oral appliances, rather than CPAP, shows progress,” says Shad Morris, D.M.D., a dental sleep medicine specialist in St. George, Utah. “The time is coming where all sleep medicine clinicians will simply focus on the therapy that works best for the patients. That’s what we should all be striving for.” 

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