Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. It is characterized by infrequent breaths called “apnea” taken during sleep. These last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, and occur at least five times per hour. These pauses cause you to gasp and choke. This interferes with your sleep. People with sleep apnea snore, though not everyone who snores has the condition.
Snores that are loud and chronic are the most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Feel tired during the day? This is a common symptom too. Or, you might experience pauses in your breathing followed by chokes or gasps. Since you're asleep, you may not know this is happening but those who sleep near you often do!
Other warning signs include:
While not common, some children do have sleep apnea. A few symptoms of children with this condition include, snoring and restless sleep, hyperactivity, bedwetting beyond a normal age, and irritable or cranky behavior. It's also common for children with sleep apnea to breathe through their mouths instead of their noses.
When air cannot freely move through your nose and throat, you snore. The surrounding throat tissues vibrate to produce the tell-tale sound. The position of your tongue in your throat also can obstruct your breath while you sleep.
The first step to eliminating snoring is to identify what causes it. Whether the cause of your snoring is health-related, lifestyle-related, or due to sleep apnea, we can help.
Do you have sleep apnea? Or do you just snore? This is an important question for your health.
Sleep apnea is a life-threatening condition that requires medical attention. Concerned you might have sleep apnea? It is important to share this with your doctor. He or she has treatment options to help. They also might refer you to have a sleep study conducted at a specialized clinic to confirm you experience this condition.
Whether the cause of your snoring is health-related, lifestyle-related, or due to sleep apnea, we can help.
Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment protocol. We provide a custom-fit appliance you wear each night. The device fits inside your mouth like an athletic mouth guard. It keeps your jaw in a forward position, which keeps your airway open. This eliminates your snores and improves your sleep, alertness and overall health.
Ask your doctor about oral appliance therapy. In some cases, you need your doctor’s prescription to seek oral appliance therapy.
Ready for oral appliance therapy? We make the process easy.
At your first visit, we'll discuss all aspects of treatment with you, including cost. From there, we'll conduct a complete examination of your teeth, jaw, tongue, and airway and take X-ray images of your mouth.
The next step is to make and fit your oral appliance. We use digital and/or physical impressions of your teeth for this. Once your appliance is ready, we'll have you return to our office for a fitting and adjustments to ensure the appliance is comfortable. We also provide instructions to clean and maintain your appliance.
In some cases, we recommend a follow-up visit to make sure the fit of your appliance remains optimal and an annual assessment to ensure the long-term success of your appliance.
Sleep apnea makes you snore, but not all people who snore have this condition. There are a variety of reasons that people snore.
For example, if you are overweight chances are you snore. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to this. Even a small amount of excess weight around your neck or throat could make you snore. Age is also a factor. Over the years, your throat becomes narrow and muscle tone decreases.
Your biology may play a role in snoring. Men have more narrow air passages than women which can lead to snoring. A narrow throat, cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, nasal and sinus problems, or something as simple as a stuffy nose blocks your airways and causes you to snore.
Oral appliance therapy is the best way to prevent this noisy nighttime habit. We also recommend you make these lifestyle changes: