Snoring and Sleep Apnea


Snoring is a common sleep disorder that can affect just about everyone at one time or another. It does have the tendency to worsen with age and almost 45% of adults snore occasionally although it is more common in men and people who are overweight. Snoring can be a serious issue especially when it gets so loud that your bed partner can't sleep and periodically elbows you to find a more quiet sleeping position or banishes you to another room. This is where we can help. We can make a comfortable anti-snoring device designed to gracefully eliminate the causes of snoring. It is custom fit to rest comfortably in your mouth and will work the very first time you try it in over 90% of people. You will feel better in the morning and your partner will call me during the day to thank me. Snoring may indicate a more serious underlying medical problem and if you are a serious snorer, a doctor should examine you to rule out any more serious health issues first.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Snoring can be a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) which can be much more serious and even life threatening. Whereas snoring is caused by a narrowing of the airways and vibration of the tissues in the back of the throat, sleep apnea is a true breathing obstruction which requires the sleeper to awaken to begin breathing again. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes dozens of times and often for a minute or more. This fragmented sleep pattern commonly causes drowsiness but can also be responsible for high blood pressure, memory problems, headaches, and other cardiovascular disease.

One approach for treatment is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. CPAP involves a mask that fits tightly over the nose during sleep and the machine forces a constant stream of air to keep the airway passages open. Many people have difficulty adjusting to this breathing mask and an oral appliance may be the perfect solution.

There are several different designs of oral appliances that can be made and most work with the basic premise of repositioning the lower jaw forward and holding it in this new position during sleep. Anatomically, the tongue is attached to the lower jaw so the whole complex is pulled forward to maintain an open airway. Each appliance is custom made after some simple impressions of your teeth and a registration to determine the best position of the components. The appliances are usually very comfortable and people have reported feeling significantly more refreshed immediately after the first night of good sleep with the appliance.

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