How Your Dentist Can Help With Sleep Apnea or Snoring
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Sleep Apnea Symptoms & Signs
Do you suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness? Does your partner complain you snore loudly? Do you find yourself longing for a nap by the afternoon? If these symptoms are present in your life, you may be suffering from a condition know as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the tongue collapses on the back of the throat, closing and blocking the airway. The flow of oxygen is restricted and patients are spending all night gasping for air. OSA is a serious medical condition that is associated with hypertension, stroke and heart problems. In the past, many who suffered from OSA were required to sleep with a CPAP, an oxygen machine to force air into their airways while they slept. These machines limit sleeping positions and are noisy and cumbersome. Most patients give up on wearing a CPAP after a few months.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances are removable devices that help prevent the tongue and soft palate from collapsing and keep the airway open during sleep. The most common oral appliance is a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) of which you can see several examples here. A MAD repositions the lower jaw and tongue forward and stabilizes the uvula and soft palate to keep the airway open.
Oral appliances are comfortable to wear and easy to travel with, as well as being non-invasive and reversible.
As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), I can help you select, fit and use a custom fitted oral appliance to help you get a good night’s sleep.
As part of the initial screening exam, we use a pharyngometer to measure the size and stability of your oral airway. The acoustic pharyngometer is a non-invasive device that uses acoustic reflection technology (similar to a ship’s sonar). All you have to do is breath into a tube. We can quickly assess potential sites of sleep-related upper airway obstruction and determine if you are a candidate for an oral appliance.
Respire Pink – Medicare approved
We also make snore guards for those of you who are just snorers who are tired of their spouse sleeping in a separate bedroom.