What is snoring?
Snoring is caused by turbulent airflow vibrating the tissues of the palate (roof of the mouth). Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone, although it occurs more frequently in men, people who are overweight, with age, and when drinking alcohol and can worsen with poor sleep posture. Snoring has a tendency to worsen with age. Occasional snoring is usually not very serious and is mostly a nuisance for your bed partner. However, if you are a habitual snorer, you not only disrupt the sleep patterns of those close to you, but you also impair your own sleep quality. Medical assistance is often needed for habitual snorers (and their loved ones) to get a good night’s sleep.
Habitual snorers can be at risk for serious health problems, including obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea creates several problems, including:
- Long interruptions of breathing (more than 10 seconds) during sleep caused by partial or total obstruction or blockage of the airway.
- Strain on the heart. Prolonged suffering from obstructive sleep apnea often results in higher blood pressure and may cause enlargement of the heart, with higher risks of heart attack and stroke.
- Low oxygen levels in the blood. This can lead to constricted blood vessels in the lungs and eventually pulmonary hypertension.
- Obesity. Poor sleep leads to obesity.
- Frequent waking from sleep, even though you may not realize it.
- Light sleeping. People with obstructive sleep apnea sleep lightly to try to keep their throat muscles tense enough to maintain airflow.
- Poor night’s sleep. Many sufferers of untreated obstructive sleep apnea end up sleeping lightly as a way of attempting to try and keep their throat muscles tense enough to maintain airflow.
- Chronic headaches. Snorers often report frequent morning headaches, which are due to the alterations in the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the bloodstream.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness. See here.
Available treatments for sleep apnea include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or a similar machine that uses positive airway pressure to help you breathe
- Medicine to help you stay awake during the day
- Oral breathing devices or other devices (such as nasal dilators) that you wear at nightAt Parkview Dentistry we can provide sleep apnea oral appliances. We custom make these by using a plastic-like mold to form to the specific shape of your teeth and mouth. Not only do they work against sleep apnea, they are also effective to stop snoring.These custom sleep apnea mouthpieces, often called by the general public, ‘sleep apnea mouth guards’, are often most effective in sleep apnea patients who have mild or moderate sleep apnea.What are the benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea?
- Easy to apply – thus patient is more likely to use and have successful treatment.
- Portable – device can fit in a pocket and doesn’t use electricity or require significant cleaning.
- Discreet – you will not look like Darth Vader to your bed partner.
- Immediate response – most patients see improvement on the first night.
Contact us today for a free consultation to determine if an oral appliance for sleep apnea is right for you.