Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Woman holding her ears because of man's snoring

If you or someone you love suffers from snoring that cannot be attributed to allergies, the common cold, or a sinus infection, this snoring could be indicative of a more serious condition: sleep apnea. At Dental Solutions in Avon, we want to help!

During sleep, the muscles in the mouth, jaw, and throat naturally relax. However, for the millions of Americans who have obstructive sleep apnea, these muscles become so relaxed that they collapse and obstruct the airway, making it difficult to breath and commonly stopping breathing for 10 or more seconds. Excess weight around the neck can also compress the airway, disrupting normal breathing and sleep cycles.

The decreased flow of oxygen caused by sleep apnea usually results in sudden, repeated awakenings throughout the night — sometimes hundreds of times — and an overall poor quality of sleep.

Beyond the snoring and restless nights, the effects of obstructive sleep apnea can pose a number of serious health risks. Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, depression, and diabetes, so it is important to recognize symptoms and get treatment before the condition worsens. Unfortunately, only a minority of sleep apnea sufferers have been diagnosed. We are working to change that in our community.

Sleep Apnea Risk Survey

Man sleeping and snoring

Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Because many sleep apnea symptoms are subtle, the disorder can go unnoticed and untreated for years. Here are some of the major signs of sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking for air during sleep
  • Severe daytime drowsiness or fatigue
  • Frequent urination during the night (the body’s attempt to control elevated blood pressure)
  • Morning headaches (from blood pressure or jaw clenching)
  • Chronic heartburn

Some of the symptoms are more vague and may seem completely unrelated, which is why it important to see a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Man sleeping with a CPAP mask

CPAP Machine

Once diagnosed, sleep apnea sufferers are often prescribed a CPAP machine, which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This device delivers a stream of compressed air through a plastic tube connected to a nasal pillow, nose mask, or full-face mask. The air pressure keeps the airway open, making normal breathing possible. While CPAP is widely considered the “gold star” standard for treating sleep apnea, it is estimated that only around 40% of patients actually wear their CPAP masks because they can be uncomfortable and challenging to sleep in. If CPAP isn’t being used, it isn’t helping!

Custom Sleep Apnea Mouth Appliances

If your sleep apnea is not severe enough to absolutely require CPAP or surgery, we would like to help you get the rest you deserve by creating a custom sleep apnea mouth appliance that will open your airway during sleep and allow you to breath normally. We offer multiple mouth appliance options, including SomnoMed®, TAP®, and The Moses™, because we understand that one option might not work best for all patients. For the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea, this conservative approach is an appealing alternative to surgery or intrusive tubing and air-blowing masks.

Together with you and a sleep physician, we will discuss your options and decide which is likely to be your ticket to a full night’s rest.

Restful sleep can be yours with sleep apnea treatment!

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