Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Get a good night's sleep!
- Snoring that disturbs your spouse or partner
- Waking at night from snoring
- Feeling sleepy and tired during the day from poor sleep
- Waking or poor quality sleep from low oxygen and sleep apnea
Snoring occurs when the tongue and back of the throat lose their tone, causing the tissues to vibrate when air passes through your airway. Reduced tissue tone also causes your airway to become more narrow. As a result, when you breathe, air passing through your airway becomes obstructed, and causes a loud snoring noise. Snoring is often the first sign of a more serious condition called sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. These breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea usually is an ongoing condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you’ll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep. As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually can’t detect the condition during routine office visits. Also, no blood test can help diagnose the condition.
Most people who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member or bed partner might be the first to notice signs of sleep apnea.
Although there are many different causes for sleep apnea, the most type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. In this condition, the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. This causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses. When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring.
Sleep apnea can be diagnosed by an overnight sleep study requested by your physician. This special test will record your oxygen levels when you sleep and calculate the number of apnea events you have per hour. The type and severity of the sleep apnea can then be determined.
For both snoring and sleep apnea, the treatment concept is the same. In cases where sleep apnea is suspected, your dentist will first request a sleep study report from your physician to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for treatment. Molds of your upper and lower teeth are obtained and sent to a special lab. The lab will make a special device called a Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) which fits over your teeth and gently repositions your lower jaw in a more forward position. This opens up your airway and allows air to move more freely as you breathe, virtually eliminating the snoring sounds and allowing for improved breathing during sleep. For snoring, a similar device is made.
At Prestige Dental, Dr. Bouzoghlanian and staff have experience in evaluating for snoring and sleep apnea and making the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) or other snoring devices for you.
Advantages of Snoring and Sleep Apnea Devices:
Feel the energy from a good night’s rest! By opening your airway, snoring and sleep apnea devices allow air to move more freely, reducing snoring noise. In addition, by making it easier for you to breath during sleep, they will help you get more uninterrupted sleep, reducing the number of times you move out of deep sleep and gasp for air. The quality of your sleep will improve, helping you feel more rested when you wake and have more energy during the daytime. Fortunately, many medical insurance plans will also cover the costs of these devices. At Prestige Dental, we will perform a thorough evaluation for you and will be happy to contact your medical or dental insurance carriers to determine your eligibility and benefits. Let us improve your sleep and your quality of life!
Disadvantages of Snoring and Sleep Apnea Devices:
Snoring and sleep apnea devices fit over your teeth in order to perform their function. Therefore, they cannot be made if you are missing most of your upper or lower teeth. Sometimes, teeth can shift with the use of the snoring or sleep apnea mouthpieces, causing changes in your bite. However, this can usually be counteracted by wearing a special device called an AM aligner for about one hour in the mornings, which will gently reposition the teeth. Sleep apnea devices do not treat all types of apnea, and in severe cases, a CPAP medical device is required.
Alternatives for Snoring and Sleep Apnea Devices:
In cases of severe sleep apnea, or in certain types of apnea, only a CPAP machine ordered by your physician will be effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
Read Sleep Apnea FAQ's