Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Do you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea?
In addition to keeping your partner awake, significant sleep apnea can increase the risk of car accidents, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Do you or your spouse suffer from:
Daytime sleepiness, fatigue and tiredness?
Irritability and mood changes?
We will review the history of your sleep condition and discuss treatment options. We’ve helped many people achieve a more comfortable night’s sleep with treatment options that include custom made appliances to help you breathe easier and sleep restfully.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing is briefly interrupted or becomes very shallow during sleep. A typical episode lasts between 10 to 20 seconds and can occur up to hundreds of times a night. This altered breathing can result in lack of oxygen to the brain and the body’s vital organs, as well as disrupted sleep. Chronic sleep apnea can affect your health and quality of life, and has been linked to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, work and driving related accidents, and stroke.
What causes sleep apnea?
In the case of obstructive sleep apnea, as the muscles of body relax during sleep, the position of the jaw, tongue and the muscles and soft tissues in the neck and mouth narrow or block the airway opening. Not only does this narrowing of the airway cause snoring, but it can also then lead to a reduction of airflow or even stop the airflow altogether. Breathing can stop for 20-40 seconds at a time at which stage a signal is sent to the brain to wake up! The person gasps for breath, falls asleep again, starts snoring, and the cycle continues.
What are the common symptoms of sleep apnea?
Waking up with a very sore or dry throat
Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
Sleepiness while driving
Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
Although loud snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Additionally, not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. The strongest indication is how you feel during the day. Normal snoring does not interfere with the quality of your sleep as much as sleep apnea does, so you are less likely to suffer from extreme fatigue and sleepiness during the day if you just snore.
What is the treatment for sleep apnea?
In cases of obstructive sleep apnea, an oral sleep appliance is worn at night and advances the lower jaw to a more forward position. This forward position of the jaw correspondingly brings the tongue and other soft tissues forward and away from the throat, keeping the airway open. As the jaw moves forward it in turn helps open the airway allowing for easier breathing and more comfortable, deeper sleep. Most patients easily adapt to wearing an oral sleep appliance at night. After wearing the appliance for a short period of time it will become part of your routine, and most people will hate to go to sleep without it after they realize how much better they feel in the morning (and how much better their bed partner sleeps as well). At Cremorne Dental Clinic, we treat patients suffering from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea with SomnoDent brand oral sleep appliances, a leader in the field.
Muscle relaxation during sleep allows the tongue and surrounding soft tissue to fall back into the throat area, collapsing the airway and obstructing air flow.
An oral sleep appliance such as the SomnoDent continuous open airway therapy (COAT) works by moving the lower jaw slightly forward. This forward movement keeps the airway open, preventing apneas.
Close up view of a SomnoDent oral sleep appliance.
65 Parraween Street, Cremorne 2090