Do you snore or have obstructive sleep apnea?

SNORING:

Partial blockage of the throat/airway

SLEEP APNEA:

Complete blockage of the airway and far more dangerous

*Apnea means you are not breathing.
*Sleep Apnea with Snoring is worse than just snoring.

Three Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Bad Snoring

1. Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)

This appliance is worn on teeth or can be supported by dental implants; it is not worn in your throat.

2. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (C-PAP)

This is a machine with a mask that is worn on face while sleeping.

3. Throat / Airway Surgery

What is Snoring?

Snoring is a sign of a breathing problem and is different and distinguishable from Sleep Apnea. Snoring occurs when the airway is partially blocked by jaw / tongue / throat / muscle tone issues, whereby the inhaled air is forced through a smaller opening, creating noise (snoring). Sleep apnea is complete blockage. Snoring can affect your quality of life and can be embarrassing or inconvenient. Snoring can cause problems in relationships when perhaps the partner’s earplugs or their pillow-over-the-head isn’t enough anymore. If you snore, you may not have sleep apnea. For many, snoring is a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) –  a serious medical problem.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Over 18 million Americans are diagnosed with OSA.

OSA occurs when the muscles around the throat /airway collapse completely, blocking airflow to the lungs. Oxygen supply is cut off to the body and brain, sometimes for a long time – even hundreds of times a night. The obstruction persists until the brain awakes (arouses). The brain may awaken, but you may not, and are unaware. Your sleep architecture and sleep stages are disrupted (Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 and REM sleep). Often your brain awakens, but you are unaware this is happening. Sleep Apnea is obviously more complex than just loud snoring. Sometimes you may awaken unexplainably, perhaps with air-starved panicky gasps and in “fight-or-flight” mode. You stay in Stage 1 or 2 sleep …unhealthy!

With OSA, this cycle repeats with you falling asleep, airway muscles relaxing, airway then collapsing, you unconsciously awakening, sometimes with a gasp. This can happen hundreds of times a night, which prevents a restful night of sleep because of oxygen deprivation (hypoxia). Hypoxia happens, and damage occurs over time. OSA can destroy your health a number of ways. Since you don’t fully awaken, you are not aware this is happening.

OSA is Linked With These Symptoms / Problems

  • Heart Attack
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Stroke (while sleeping)
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heartburn (acid reflux)
  • Morning Headaches; Migraine Headaches
  • Feeling Sleepier When You Wake Up than When You Went to Bed
  • Depression / Mood Swings
  • Anxiety / Feeling on Edge / Irritability
  • Sexual Dysfunction and Impotency
  • Chronic Daytime Sleepiness
  • Motor Vehicle Crashes / Workplace Accidents / Job Impairment
  • Weight Gain or a Struggle to Lose Weight
  • Diabetes; Central Abdomen Fattiness
  • Memory Issues / Brain Fog / Cognitive Impairment
  • Frequent Nighttime Urination
  • Bed Partner Loses Sleep / Their Health is Jeopardized Marital or Other Personal Relationship Problems
  • Bags Under Eyes / Tired Appearance
  • Hyperactivity in Children
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Risk Factors for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Include:

  • Obesity (thin people can have OSA too)
  • Large Neck / Short Thick Neck
  • Small Airway / Jaw-Tongue-Throat Atonia (muscle strength has been lost)
  • Family History of Snoring / Loud Snoring / Sleep Apnea
  • People Over 35 Years Old are at Higher Risk
  • OSA Affects Younger Overweight People; Children also Suffer
  • Males are at Higher Risk; Females Suffer Too

Already Wear C-PAP? Can You Relate?
Are You Undiagnosed with Sleep Apnea?

  • Have you stopped using your C-PAP?
  • Are you struggling with C-PAP claustrophobia?
  • Are you feeling exhausted or have headaches for no apparent reason?
  • Do you feel unattractive to your bed partner while wearing C-PAP?
  • Does your partner elbow or tell you to roll over, waking you because of bad snoring or gasping?
  • Do you sleep in different rooms away from the snoring or obstructive partner?
  • Does the C-PAP head strap pull your hair? Is leaking air blowing on your partner’s face?
  • Do the C-PAP straps leave marks on your face or need adjusting a lot?
  • Do you have a dry nose or sore throat?

Up to an estimated 60% of sleep apnea patients cannot tolerate or choose not to use their C-PAP device. Severe sleep apnea patients may benefit by simultaneously wearing C-PAP with an oral appliance. Patients who wear C-PAP, but do not travel with it, find an oral appliance to be a travel alternative.

Need Options?

Here at ORAL APPLIANCE EXPERTS, we offer Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) to manage sleep apnea and snoring airways. We work with your physician, embracing that relationship in a non-competitive manner, while working with your medical insurance to manage apnea. Physicians become part of our oral appliance team to co-manage this potentially deadly problem. Medical insurance is often billed for OSA / OAT (Obstructive Sleep Apnea / Oral Appliance Therapy).

What Does This Have to Do with the Dental Profession?

Medical insurance often pays for evaluation, oral appliance therapy and follow up. Here at Oral Appliance Experts, we work with your physician and medical insurance. If you are diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, we will work with your physician to determine if C-PAP or a custom adjustable oral appliance is right for you.

We want to meet you so we can understand how to help you, individually. I have to see inside your mouth so we know how to help you with Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). We fabricate the most comfortable oral appliance possible for you to treat your apnea/snoring. OAT is an alternative to C-PAP for OSA and OAT can complement C-PAP in severe cases of OSA.

Today, more and more people are having OAT to manage OSA and/or simple snoring. An oral appliance can be an alternative to C-PAP machines or airway surgery.

Today There Are Options

“OSA requires a seriously trained team who wants to help with the problem.” – Dr. Kiser