Snoring & Sleep Apnea

 

Snoring
For many people, snoring can go hand in hand with sleep. Technological advances have made it possible for people to turn to their dentists for help in coming up with effective snoring treatments.

Snoring is caused by a narrowing of the airway, which prevents the sleeper from breathing as smoothly as he should. Many dentists offer snoring treatments in the form of oral appliances that are worn in the mouth during the night. These appliances are designed to maintain an unobstructed airway in the mouth and throat so that the patient can breathe normally while he is asleep, and therefore stop snoring. Many different types of oral appliances are available, so we will work with patients to find the device that is the most comfortable and effective.

Sleep Apnea
Loud snoring, where a person stops breathing and has a choking sensation, can mean the person has sleep apnea, a potentially life threatening condition. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep apnea is very common, and affects more than twelve million Americans. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type, and occurs when the airflow through a person’s upper airway is blocked, even though the person is still trying to breathe. People who have sleep apnea can experience early morning headaches, daytime sleepiness and, sometimes, insomnia.

Sleep apnea cannot be diagnosed on these symptoms alone. A physician can order a number of tests to diagnose sleep apnea and determine its severity. There are many treatments for sleep apnea, based on the patient’s medical history and severity of the sleep apnea.  Dental appliances are one of many methods of treatment; these ‘orthotics’ reposition the lower jaw and tongue to open the collapsed airway similar to CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation). Orthotics are most effective in patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, or a person who snores but does not have apnea. These dental appliances are custom made to fit completely within or partially within the mouth and hold oral structures in place to allow easier breathing when you sleep.

Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue of the throat or soft palate partially or fully closes your airway for longer than 10 seconds. The resulting oxygen deprivation causes poor, fitful sleep at night and mild to extreme fatigue during the day.

Dr. Desai works in conjunction with your physicians to help sleep apnea sufferers treat or cure the problem.

As a member of your team, Dr. Desai can fit you with an oral appliance that holds your jaw forward during sleep, optimizing air flow through your nose and mouth. It’s a proven, safe, affordable and effective way to eliminate troublesome snoring and avoid the long-term damage that sleep loss can cause: weight gain, high blood pressure, muscle pain, memory problems and cardiovascular disease.

If you are among the 80 million Americans who snore, get checked and get fitted and get energized! Dr. Desai can help. Call today for a personal evaluation.

Please contact our office at 410-997-7412 to discuss your sleep or snoring questions!