For many people with sleep apnea, the most comfortable and efficient way to wear their CPAP masks at night is when they use a palate expander . This device fits over the roof of your mouth and holds your mouth open while you sleep, which makes it possible to breathe comfortably through your nose rather than your mouth throughout the night. Of course, as with all medical devices, this isn’t an entirely painless procedure—but if you learn what to expect when you have a palate expander, it won’t be so bad!
Is it uncomfortable?
Although it’s important for you to wear your palate expander for as many hours of each day as possible, it’s completely normal for your palate expander to feel uncomfortable from time to time. If you don’t want to deal with discomfort on a daily basis, there are ways you can minimize pain and discomfort when you have your palate expander in. Choose soft foods that are easy to eat like mashed potatoes or oatmeal rather than something like steak or chicken. Furthermore, eating small meals throughout the day instead of larger ones will help reduce some of your discomfort as well because they will give your jaw muscles more opportunity between bites.
Why do dentists use palate expanders, anyway?
If you are missing any teeth, it’s always best to bring in your smile big. The more teeth and bone you have in your mouth, after all, the better your chance at matching an implant (or bridge or denture) with your natural smile line. If you need implants or want dentures for aesthetic reasons, then it’s even more important that your gum tissue be healthy and stretched out as much as possible. For that reason, many dentists use palate expanders for patients who are having trouble making room for dental prosthetics or just want to get their gums used to the idea of smiling bigger. It takes some effort from both patient and dentist (read: multiple appointments), but it is one of safest way s of stretching out gum tissue.
General dental issues caused by mouth breathing
Mouth breathing affects your overall health in many ways. Not only does it lead to cavities, discolored teeth, and bad breath—it also causes other problems. Chronic mouth breathing is one of the leading causes of facial deformities like an underdeveloped upper jaw, which leads not only to structural issues but also crooked teeth. The most common condition caused by mouth breathing is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where people’s airways collapse when they sleep because their mouths are too open due to weak muscles and over-enlarged tonsils and adenoids. People with OSA often struggle with daytime drowsiness, depression, memory loss, weight gain, fatigue and more serious conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Speech issues caused by mouth breathing
Speech problems are one of many issues people experience when they’re unable to breathe properly through their nose. For example, if your mouth is open while you talk, you may have speech issues. One common problem caused by mouth breathing is called lisps and lisping can be quite difficult for some people. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to treat lisps and other speech problems related to mouth breathing. Perhaps one of most interesting treatments involves using what’s known as a palate expander. But how does it work? What does it feel like? Is it painful? Here’s what you need to know about palatal expanders and why they might be right for you…
The process and experience of getting a palate expander
If you’re thinking about getting an expander, you may be wondering what to expect during and after treatment. The experience can vary from person to person, but here are some things your orthodontist will talk with you about: What type of expansion is right for you? There are different types of expanders. Your orthodontist will recommend one based on your condition and needs. Some options include manual, spring-powered or electric expansion devices. Also, there are removable models that require upkeep by removing and replacing them daily at home.
3 questions I asked my orthodontist about palate expanders
I remember being so nervous when I first got my palate expander. It was hard to understand what everyone meant when they said it would be painful and difficult. My orthodontist sat down with me, looked at my mouth and took some x-rays, then showed me exactly what he planned on doing, step by step. After that I knew exactly what to expect. He also showed me pictures of patients who had gone through palate expanders before and explained how every patient was different in their recovery time. Before you get your palate expander it might help to have an idea of what happens during treatment so you can know what to expect when you get yours!
Things people don’t tell you before you get a palate expander
It hurts. Really, really bad. But there are ways you can make it more tolerable and also faster to get through it all. If you’re already looking into getting a palate expander done, or have had one recently and are still in pain, take my advice for what I did and you’ll be feeling better in no time at all! – — First of all, research was key for me! I knew that everything was going to hurt (trust me) but knowing exactly what was happening made it more bearable. The worst thing in my opinion is not knowing what’s coming next and having something happen that’s surprising or new (I’m looking at you nose packing). So do your research!