SNORING AND SLEEP APNEA TREATMENTS
While snoring is a common problem for many people, it can also be a major sign of other complications that can affect your health. It is estimated that more than 80 million people in North America snore while sleeping, which not only affects the quality of sleep that the snoring person gets, but also their loved ones, such as spouses, children, and other family members. Luckily, there is a way to treat chronic snoring.
What causes snoring?
Snoring can be the result of several factors. Typically, snoring is caused by the relaxing of the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth, making the airway passage smaller. The decrease in space through the airway makes it harder for each breath to get through, and when it does get through the airway passage, it moves over the soft tissues in the mouth and throat causing a vibration that results in the snoring sound. Other causes of snoring may include:
• Excess body weight
• Alcohol consumption
• Certain sleep aides or sedatives
• Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
What is the mandibular advancement device known as SomnoDent?
If you snore at night, then a mandibular advancement device (MAD) may represent a solution and a better night’s sleep! The MAD is a specially designed dental device to be worn at night as it gently helps keep the lower jaw, or mandible, in a forward position, increasing the space between the airway passage, helping you breathe better and get a full, quiet night’s sleep.
MADs are usually small plastic devices worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. They do this by bringing your lower jaw forward and/or by lifting your soft palate. Some devices also stop the tongue from falling back over your windpipe. Your dentist will fit these special appliances to meet your individual condition.
Is a MAD comfortable?
The answer is simple — YES! A mandibular advancement device is made to be comfortable so that you can sleep without even noticing you’re wearing it. It does not prevent you from breathing with your mouth open and will even eliminate snoring for patients with sinus congestion or allergies. You may experience some slight stiffness of the jaw for the first few mornings after wearing the device, however this feeling is only temporary and will go away after waking up and removing the device.
To learn more about a mandibular advancement device, contact our practice and schedule an appointment and consultation. A better night’s sleep starts here!
Are you drowsy during the day with no explanation?
Do you snore loudly or wake up breathless in the middle of the night? If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be one of more than 12 million Americans who are affected by sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops periodically during sleep, as many as 20-30 times per hour. Each time you stop breathing in your sleep, the resulting lack of oxygen alerts your brain, which temporarily wakes you up to restart proper breathing. Since the time spent awake is so brief, most people with sleep apnea don’t remember it, and many feel like they are getting a good night’s sleep, when in fact, they are not. The constant wake-sleep, wake-sleep cycle prevents those with sleep apnea from achieving deep sleep, resulting in a constant drowsy feeling during the day.
What are the signs of sleep apnea?
The following symptoms can indicate the presence of sleep apnea. If you notice one or more of these, contact our practice.
• Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
• Loud snoring at night
• Waking up at night short of breath
• Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)
• Headaches upon waking in the morning
• Falling asleep unintentionally during the day
• Extreme drowsiness throughout the day
SomnoDent is the Alternative to CPAP
If you have tried the CPAP and found that it didn’t work for you or you would prefer a similar alternative treatment. In our office, we specialize in the use of SomnoDent a SomnoMed oral appliance for successful treatment of sleep apnea and snoring. We can fabricate an oral appliance that is shaped much like upper and lower mouth guard and is worn throughout the night, while sleeping. Using a SomnoDent is a lot like wearing a retainer. SomnoDent helps keep your airway open, allowing your body to breathe naturally. Best of all, SomnoDent makes no noise. So, it is easy to share a bed again with your partner.
Our team can help you every step of the way. We invite you to call us at (813) 540-7467 to schedule our sleep apnea assessment visit.
Are there different types of sleep apnea?
There are three categories of sleep apnea. The most common is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and occurs due to a physical blockage, usually the collapsing of the soft tissue in the back of the throat. Less common is central sleep apnea (CSA), in which breathing stops because the muscles involved don’t receive the proper signal from the brain. Further, some people suffer from “mixed” or “complex” sleep apnea, which is a combination of obstructive and central.
What are risk factors for sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in males than females, and it is more common in older adults (40+) than younger adults and children. However, anyone — regardless of gender or age — can suffer from sleep apnea. Other risk factors include obesity, smoking, drinking, use of sedatives or tranquilizers, and family history. Central sleep apnea strikes most often in people with heart disorders, neuromuscular disorders, strokes, or brain tumors. It is also more common in males.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Treatments for sleep apnea depend on the severity of each individual case and the type of apnea. Basic treatment can be behavioral — for instance, patients are instructed to lose weight, stop smoking, or sleep on their sides instead of on their backs. Beyond that, oral devices can be used to position the mouth in such a way that prevents throat blockage. In more severe cases, surgery may be the best option.
What should I do if I suspect that someone in my family suffers from sleep apnea?
Contact our practice, and we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist. The specialist may recommend a “sleep study” to diagnose the precise extent of the problem and can prescribe appropriate treatment. Depending on the patient’s situation, treatment may involve an oral device that we can custom-create for you.
Wondering if SomnoDent would be right for you? Call one of our offices at (813) 960-5869 to learn more and schedule an appointment!