Obstructive sleep apnea and snoring are both breathing disorders that occur during sleep. When you’re sleeping, upper airway muscles relax, causing the opening of the airway to shrink and inhibit breathing. Those with sleep apnea experience interruptions in breathing that usually last between 10 to 20 seconds each, even up to 1 minute, often occurring up to hundreds of times each night.
We all know how annoying and disruptive snoring can be. The loud noise heard by others when you snore is created by the partial closure of the airway and is often a symptom of sleep apnea. Unfortunately, snoring does much more than create a disturbance for your bed partner’s sleep. Consistent, loud, heavy snoring has been linked to medical disorders such as high blood pressure. Although sleep apnea and snoring are often linked, it’s extremely important to understand that sleep apnea can occur even for those that don’t snore.
Sleep apnea can be treated successfully without surgery by wearing an oral sleep appliance. This acrylic device is similar to an athletic mouthguard, but is worn while you sleep. Although many over-the-counter items are sold to prevent snoring, such one-size-fits-all devices are known to cause jaw pain, tooth damage, and even temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Patients who try them often find that they cannot tolerate them throughout the night.
The sleep appliances used at Dentistry by Design are custom-designed and fitted for your unique needs following the collection of extremely refined neuromuscular information regarding your jaw position and bite. They help to reposition your tongue and gently slope your jaw to open your airway, providing unobstructed oxygen flow.
Patient wearing a sleep appliance to treat for sleep apnea and snoring