Sleep Apnea/Snoring Appliances

Snoring Relief and Sleep Apnea Treatment

Stop Snoring with an Oral Appliance

Sleep Apnea Treatment Lake County ILObstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops (apnea) and starts during sleep. Several types of sleep apnea exist, but the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep. The most noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring, although not everyone who has obstructive sleep apnea snores and not everyone that snores has obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is an often-undiagnosed breathing disorder that can affect the quality of your sleep and can have negative effects on your health.

Signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headache
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Dentist Lake County IL

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. These muscles support structures including the soft palate, the uvula, the tonsils and the tongue.

When the muscles relax, the airway narrows or closes as the patient breathes in and breathing may be inadequate for 10 to 20 seconds. This may lower the level of oxygen in the blood. The brain senses this inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that patients don’t remember it.

Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment

For milder cases of obstructive sleep apnea, lifestyle changes may be recommended, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. If these measures don’t improve the signs and symptoms or if apnea is moderate to severe, a number of other treatments are available. Certain devices can help open up a blocked airway.

CPAPContinuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea may benefit from a machine that delivers air pressure through a mask placed over your nose while you sleep. The most common type is called continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. With this treatment, the pressure of the air breathed is continuous and somewhat greater than that of the surrounding air, which is just enough to keep your upper airway passages open. This prevents apnea and snoring.

Although CPAP is the most consistently successful and most commonly used method of treating sleep apnea, some people find it cumbersome and uncomfortable

Oral Snoring Appliance Lake County ILSnoring Appliances

Another option is wearing a snoring appliance, or mouthpiece, designed to keep your throat open. While positive airway pressure is nearly always an effective treatment, oral appliances are a successful alternative for some patients. Worn during sleep, oral appliances used for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea are designed to stop the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat from blocking the flow of air. Some are designed to open your throat by bringing your jaw forward, which can sometimes relieve snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea. Others hold your tongue in a different position. A number of devices are available from your Den-Care Smile Center dentist. You may need to try different devices before finding one that works for you. Since oral appliances aren’t as consistently effective as CPAP, close follow-up is needed to ensure successful treatment of sleep apnea.

You may be a candidate for a sleep apnea or snoring oral appliance if you:

  • Snore or have mild to moderate sleep apnea
  • Have moderate to severe sleep apnea and have not responded well to therapy with CPAP.
  • Are not a candidate for any of the surgeries used to treat sleep apnea, such as  tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, or jaw surgery.

Sleep apnea patients must have had a sleep study and evaluation by a physician who must recommend that a sleep appliance may be a solution instead of CPAP.

The correct oral appliance for your particular medical situation will depend on your medical history, oral examination, and discussion with your dentist.

For more information on how sleep apnea and excessive snoring can be treated with an oral appliance or mouth guard and what treatment options may be best for you, contact Den-Care Smile Center Today!

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Den-Care Smile Center believes everyone deserves a beautiful, healthy smile. We understand that affordability is a very important consideration and that’s why we strive to keep our fees as low as possible while preserving the quality service you expect.

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