DO YOU SNORE?
Do you wake yourself or your partner up in the middle of the night due to loud snoring? Do you wake up with a regularly dry or sore throat? Have you ever been startled awake by a gasping or choking sensation? If so, you could suffer from a condition called sleep apnea. There are 3 types of sleep apnea: Central (CSA), Obstructive (OSA), and mixed sleep apnea (a combination of central and obstructive). In CSA, breathing is interrupted by a lack of effort. In OSA, breathing is interrupted by a physical block or obstruction of the airway and snoring is very common. Many people don’t realize they have sleep apnea especially if they aren’t awakened by snoring or a partner who recognizes an odd breathing pattern.
Sleep apnea can be a life-threatening condition due to the lack of oxygen to the body that can result from episodes. In OSA, snoring often occurs due to the soft tissues of the mouth and throat relaxing when going to sleep causing the velocity of air to increase as you breathe. Often an over-night sleep study is required to fully diagnose severe cases of sleep apnea. However, there are some simple steps that can be taken right here at your dental office to help with sleep apnea and snoring problems.
A simple device called the TAP 3 Elite (Thorton Adjustable Positioner) is a custom appliance used for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. Designed to keep the airway open, this device allows air to pass through by holding the lower jaw in a forward position preventing the soft tissue of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. As a result, snoring is reduced and breathing is improved. There are several other devices that work in a similar way to help open the airway and allow for better breathing. You can consult with your Dentist about the best options for you depending on the severity of your sleep apnea.
Be aware that OSA can be a severe medical problem if left untreated resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and occasionally heart attack or stroke. These conditions can be life threatening, yet medical and dental treatments are available to help improve or even eliminate sleep apnea issues. Contact our dental office to set up a consult today if you are experiencing any sleep apnea related symptoms. 208-524-1700