FEELING A BIT TIRED at times during the day is completely normal, even with a good night’s sleep. Some people, however, struggle every night for a restful sleep, especially those with sleep apnea and snoring.

Did you know that one in five adults has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with 80 percent of cases going undiagnosed? This condition can disrupt your sleep and increase your risk of severe health problems.

Snoring is a common breathing disorder that occurs during sleep and is generally considered to be simply a nuisance. Snoring, however, can be associated with a more serious condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It is characterized by repeated stoppages in breathing, each lasting 10 seconds or longer.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. This can cause a person to stop breathing hundreds of times per night, immensely disrupting their sleep. Here are some symptoms that could mean you are suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  • Do you snore loudly?
  • Do you snore every night?
  • Have you or your partner moved to another bedroom?
  • Do you suffer excessive daytime sleepiness?
  • Have you dosed off while driving?
  • Do you fall asleep at meetings, reading or watching TV?
  • Are you drowsy in the afternoon?
  • Do you feel tired after lunchtime?
  • Do you choke or gasp during sleep?
  • Have you been told you hold your breath during sleep?
  • Have you woken short of breath during the night?
  • Are you restless during sleep?
  • Do you have toilet visits during the night?
  • Do you suffer heart burn (indigestion) at night?
  • Are you tired upon waking. (lethargic, no energy)?
  • Do you suffer morning headaches?
  • Are you irritable on waking in the morning?
  • Reduced sexual activity?
  • Do you suffer from High Blood Pressure?

If you suffer from some of these symptoms you should discuss these issues with your dentist. There are now simple non-invasive medically and scientifically proven treatments available.

What causes snoring?

Snoring, most typically, is caused by poor muscle tone and extra tissue in the tongue and throat. This causes the tongue to relax and fall backwards in the throat, resulting in restricted airflow and vibration of the soft tissues in the back of the mouth.

 

Sleep Apnea, Snoring and the Facts:

You are not alone if you snore.

  • Snoring affects 34% of the adult population.
  • As many as 60% of men over 40 snore.
  • Snoring significantly increases after age 35
  • 60% of men and 40% of women between 41 and 65 are habitual snorers.

 

We Can Help

Dentists are often the first professionals to become aware of a potential case of OSA and many are specially trained for the treatment of sleep apnea. We are just such a practice!

While the most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliance therapy that dentists provide is the increasingly preferred form of treatment. This is due to the high rejection rate of CPAP therapy and the fact that oral appliances are much more convenient, portable, and easy to care for.

 

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy uses a mouth guard-like device to maintain an open, unobstructed airway while you sleep. They are typically as easy to wear as most retainers.

 

 

There are two ways the oral appliance works to open up your airway:

  1. By repositioning your lower jaw, it keeps your throat muscles engaged as you sleep, preventing them from collapsing.
  2. Oral appliances can also move your tongue forward, keeping it from falling back and blocking the throat.

The oral appliance that Slave Lake Dental offers is the Herbst Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance.

Herbst-Appliance

 

 

Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s rest! The quality of your sleep is extremely important to your overall health and well-being. Ask us today how you can better your life by treating sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy!