Do you gasp for air at night, snore, or feel exhausted throughout the day? If so, you may suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which you do not get enough oxygen during sleep, causing your body to startle awake so you can breathe. In most cases, sleep apnea is “obstructive,” meaning that it occurs because the oral and throat tissues are collapsed or improperly positioned, blocking breath. ResMed reports that an estimated 20 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), making its “prevalence similar to asthma (20 million) and diabetes (23.6 million) [in the] U.S. population.”
OSA can lead to stroke, high blood pressure, heart conditions, and other serious health conditions, so effective treatment and diagnosis is paramount. That’s why Dr. Stephen J. Gershberg and our team use Zephyr Technologies’ advanced MATRx system for custom made oral appliances that can conveniently, successfully remedy sleep apnea. In the following blog, we explain how we use this technology to enhance our care.
The Problem with CPAP
The first course of treatment for OSA is often CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, therapy. This involves wearing a mask attached to a machine to pump air through the mouth and nose and keep the jaw in a more appropriate position. CPAP is a very helpful treatment for OSA, but only if patients actually use it, and many would rather not. Zephyr Technologies reports that 25 percent of patients refuse it without even attempting to use it. Of those that do give CPAP a shot, 50 percent stop use within six months. State-of-the-art MATRx treatment can improve patients’ compliance and comfort.
How Oral Appliances Help
Fortunately, many patients can treat their OSA and restore healthy sleep with a small oral appliance. Dr. Gershberg can manufacture a plastic device that sits between or over your teeth to put your mouth in a more ideal position and open your airways. Unlike CPAP, this treatment is very portable, requires no electricity, and is very easy to use.
A New MATRx for Precise, Effective Treatment
In the past, some doctors and patients were concerned about the efficacy of oral appliances for OSA because they did not always fit or hold the mouth open correctly. Dr. Gershberg and our team are committed to constantly advancing the quality of our care, so we have partnered with Zephyr Technologies to use the MATRx system, a diagnostic and oral appliance fabrication system that helps to ensure accurate, effective treatment.
Here’s how the MATRx system works: When you come in to our practice with OSA symptoms, Dr. Gershberg will provide a temporary tray and take measurements of your mouth. Next, he will send this information to a certified sleep lab for study, and the specialists at Zephyr Technologies will remotely adjust your tray to reduce the number of apneas you experience. The MATRx system provides us with important information about the ideal position for your unique jaw to enhance your sleep and oral health. Based on the information collected, we will determine if you are a good candidate for an oral appliance and, if you are, create a custom made device that exactly suits your needs. This sophisticated process allows us to fabricate an oral appliance that fits well and holds your airways open successfully so you can sleep well.
About Your Bryn Mawr Sleep Apnea Dentist
Dr. Gershberg has developed his extensive dental knowledge and expertise over the past 30 years. He is also one of the only doctors in the entire Delaware Valley that uses the sophisticated MATRx system for sleep apnea treatment. If you believe you may suffer from OSA, please call Main Line Snoring Solutions at 610-527 6700 for more information and to schedule a consultation.