Sleep Apnea

Dental Treatments Improve Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms

As dentists committed to improving the overall well-being of my patients, we understand the detrimental effects that snoring, sleep apnea and airway related disorders can have on their quality of life. These common sleep disorders that may be noticed as snoring and teeth grinding, not only disrupt restful sleep of the sleeper, but also pose their bed partner. Snoring, however, is not the only sign of an airway disorder.  Crooked teeth, dry mouth, bad breath, headaches, neck aches, worn and broken-down teeth are only some of the signs of possible airway disorders. In addition to these signs of possible airway disorders, there also may be results to include high blood pressure or heart problems, daytime fatigue, Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic syndrome, complications with medicines and surgery, liver problems, sleep deprive partners, etc., to name just a few. Fortunately, dental Oral Appliance Therapy has emerged as an effective treatment for managing and improving these conditions, providing patients with alternative options to alleviate their symptoms.

What causes snoring and obstructive sleep apnea?

There are many causes of shoring including anatomy, nasal issues, obesity, sleep position, alcohol and sedative use, age and allergies. The most common cause of snoring, however, is the obstruction of the airway during sleep. During sleep, the muscles in the throat naturally relax. However, in some individuals, these muscles relax excessively, causing the airway to narrow or collapse partially. The soft palate and uvula, located at the back of the mouth, can obstruct the airway thus narrowing the air passage and using the airflow to become turbulent, This results in snoring. Additionally, the base of the tongue can fall backward and bock the airway partially. This is particularly common when sleeping on the back, as gravity can cause the tongue to obstruct the passage of air.

These are also the characteristics of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). There are however other types of sleep apnea such as central sleep apnea (CSA) which is caused by a lack of communication between the brain and the muscles responsible for controlling breathing. Please see a physician to determine what type of sleep apnea you may have before getting dental treatment.

How does a dental device help?

One of the key dental treatments offered for snoring and sleep apnea is the use of oral appliances specifically mandibular advancement devices (MADs). These custom-made devices are designed to fit comfortably over the teeth, gently repositioning the lower jaw forward. By doing so, MADs prevent the collapse of the airway during sleep, reducing snoring and improving airflow. Patients appreciate MADs for their non-invasiveness and the noticeable improvement they experience in their sleep quality.

Tongue-retaining vices (TRDs) are another valuable dental treatment option for patients dealing with snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. By holding the tongue in a forward position, TRDs prevent it from obstructing the airway during sleep. This allows for improved breathing and a reduction in snoring. Many patients find TRDs to be a simple and effective solution that enhances their sleep and overall well-being.

Ready to Say Goodbye to Snoring?