Do you keep someone awake at night with your snoring? Are you experiencing fatigue, sleeplessness, and even breathlessness? These could be warning signs that normal breathing is not taking place during sleep. Of course, lack of sleep affects those around us due to the loud noise snorers make and loved ones endure.
There are many dental and medical conditions that lead to snoring, including being overweight, having a small retruded jaw, sedatives, allergies, alcohol before retiring, or airway obstruction such conditions as enlarged tonsils or adenoids. However, studies show that many times snoring can be a serious disorder called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is defined as a cessation of breathing for a period of 10 seconds or more for up to hundreds of times a night or more.
Often, obstructive sleep apnea can be treated very successfully by a dentist who has acquired the special education necessary, with a conservative, airway oral appliance therapy approach. The American Sleep Disorders Society took a major step forward by including dental therapy in their treatment protocol. Using oral repositioning airway appliances for sleep apnea as an accepted part of conservative treatment can be very effective!
Your health is your most priceless possession. So if you suspect you suffer from a snoring problem or sleep apnea, discuss it with a trained dentist like our Dr. Freydberg to determine what course of diagnosis and treatment is best. As a qualified sleep dentist in snoring and sleep apnea, Dr. Freydberg works with a sleep specialist to rehabilitate patients with sleep deprivation. Together they determine the seriousness of the condition, and the treatment that will improve the patient’s quality of life. Proper medical and dental team management is essential. The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep are:
- Loud snoring
- Intermittent breathing stoppages during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Restless sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor memory
- Irritability or moodiness
Benign snoring is easily treated with an oral appliance without a physician’s diagnosis. But if you have symptoms of sleep apnea, Dr. Freydberg will have you see a board- certified sleep specialist for a diagnosis, usually an ENT or pulmonologist, prior to evaluating you for a sleep apnea oral appliance.
Oral appliances that treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are small plastic devices that are worn in the mouth, similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouthguards. These appliances help prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, and keep the airway open during sleep and promote adequate air intake.
Currently, there are approximately 70 different oral appliances available. Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with other means of treating OSA, including general health and weight management, surgery, or CPAP.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral Appliance Therapy has several advantages over other forms of therapies, some are as follows:
- Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear.
- Most people find that it only takes a couple of weeks to become accustomed to wearing the appliance.
- Oral appliances are small and convenient, which makes them easy to carry when traveling.
- Treatment with oral appliances is reversible and non-invasive.