Sleep Apnea / Snoring

Sleep Apnea / Snoring

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which the flow of air pauses or decreases during breathing while you are asleep because the airway has become narrowed, blocked, or floppy. All of the muscles in your body become more relaxed during sleep. This includes the muscles that help keep the airway open and allow air to flow into the lungs.

Normally, the upper throat still remains open enough during sleep to let air pass by. However, some people have a narrower throat area. When the muscles in their upper throat relax during sleep, their breathing can stop for a period of time (often more than 10 seconds). This is called apnea.

snoringThe snoring in people with obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the air trying to squeeze through the narrowed or blocked airway. Some patients have obstructions that are less severe called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In either case, the individuals suffer many of the same symptoms.

A person who has obstructive sleep apnea often is not aware of the apnea episodes during the night. Often, family members witness the periods of apnea.

A person with obstructive sleep apnea usually begins snoring heavily soon after falling asleep. Often the snoring gets louder. The snoring is then interrupted by a long silent period during which there is no breathing. This is followed by a loud snort and gasp, as the person attempts to breathe. This pattern repeats. People with obstructive sleep apnea may not be aware that their sleep was interrupted. In fact, many people with this type of sleep apnea think they slept well all night.

Many people wake up unrefreshed in the morning and feel sleepy or drowsy throughout the day. This is called excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).

At our office, we will perform a complete history and physical exam. This will involve carefully checking your mouth, neck, and throat. You will also be asked a series of questions about daytime sleepiness, sleep quality, and bedtime habits. In addition, for those patients who show possible signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, we will do a preliminary volumetric airway analysis with the use of our 3D Cone Beam CT Scanner in order to determine the location of the airway obstruction.

A sleep study (polysomnogram) is used to confirm obstructive sleep apnea. The goal of OSA treatment is to keep the airway open so that breathing does not stop during sleep.

In recent years, the prevalence of treating patients suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) has increased. We have a nonsurgical approach to Sleep Apnea or Upper Airway Resistance that may be used on its own or in conjunction with other treatment. Through the use of Oral Appliance Therapy, patients have reported better sleep, more energy, overall better health, as well as decrease in bed partner’s report of snoring since undergoing treatment.

OSA is a very serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea may lead to or worsen heart disease, including heart arrhythmias, heart failure, high blood pressure, or stroke. Please give our office a call today so that you can experience a better night’s sleep as well as an overall improvement in health through the use of Oral Appliance Therapy.

slide-niteSilent Nite® Slide-Link

AVAILABLE at Pasadena Family, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry

Snoring can be a real problem, not only for the person who snores, but for the partner and other family members who live with the snorer. However, there is a dentist-prescribed solution for a more restful night’s sleep: Silent Nite® SL. This affordable device is flexible, thin and comfortable for your patients, and it exhibits documented clinical success in mitigating or even preventing the disruptive, unhealthy effects of snoring and sleep apnea.

Silent Nite® sl positions the lower jaw forward using special S-shaped connectors that are attached to upper and lower trays. These trays are comprised of a soft inner layer with a hard outer layer that is durable and BPA-free.

What are the risk factors for sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can have both short and long term health risks if left untreated, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart disease/heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Driving and work-related accidents

Did you know that 800,000 US drivers were involved in sleep apnea related traffic accidents in the year 2000.

Is snoring normal?

Most people snore to some degree. Generally speaking it is quite normal. If snoring gets to the point where it becomes extremely loud and bothersome to others or is accompanied with interrupted breathing, then this degree of snoring is not considered normal.

Snoring is much more prominent in men than in women.

How does my weight affect my snoring?

Weight has a direct impact on one’s snoring and apnea. The severity of sleep disordered breathing will fluctuate with the ups and downs of one’s weight gains and losses.

Are oral appliances a valid alternative to CPAP?

Definitely yes. In 2006, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a position paper stating that oral appliances are comparable therapy to CPAP for mild and moderate apnea, and a treatment option for patients who were CPAP and surgery failures.

oral appliance sleep apnea

Silent Nite® Slide-Link

oral appliance sleep apnea

pediatric dentist pasadena