Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Chances are you or someone you know snores. Snoring can lead to sleepless nights for those trying to sleep within earshot of a snorer. Snoring also keeps the snorer from getting a good night sleep as well. About half of loud snorers also have obstructivce sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when tissues in the back of the throat block the airway which can cause you to snore and stop breathing for short periods of time.
Imagine how you would feel if you were deprived of oxygen. Those with sleep apnea can feel unrested and tired throughout the day, have headaches, lack concentration, and could be at risk of nodding off while working or driving.
There is no real cure for obstructive sleep apnea, but there are ways to help keep the airway open. A common type of treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. There are also oral appliances that can help to keep the airway open. These appliances reposition the jaw forward during sleep to help keep the airway open.
Reposition the jaw to get better flow? You may think this sounds silly. To demonstrate, you can do a little test to feel what a more open airway feels like. In a seated or standing position, tip your head way back. Did you feel your jaw settle back? Take a deep breath and keep in mind how that feels. Now, with your head tipped back, jut your lower jaw forward and take a deep breath with your jaw forward. An oral appliance can help to keep your jaw forward and your airway open while you sleep.
If you feel that you have a snoring problem or may have obstructive sleep apnea, you should see your physician. Your physician will help to determine whether you just have a snoring problem or an obstructive sleep apnea issue. Discuss your treatment options with your physician and let us know if you have questions about or are interested in an oral appliance for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. Our patients who have tried an oral appliance or have switched from a CPAP machine to an oral appliance have given them rave reviews.