Patients with sleep apnea snore and have disrupted sleep. It is worse than just annoying your spouse at night. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues of the throat become loose and drop into the throat during sleep, causing breathing to stop momentarily. These breaks in breath last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. It can occur once or twice a night or more than 30 times in an hour. This sounds scary, and the condition can have serious side effects, but once sleep apnea is diagnosed, we can treat it. Some of the signs that can indicate sleep apnea include: snoring, snorting, or choking while asleep.
Sleep apnea is caused by the obstruction of the airways when the soft tissues in the back of the mouth relax and block the throat during sleep. The condition is worse when the patient is overweight, has nasal congestion from polyps, a deviated septum, colds, and allergies, or poor oral structure. Even food and alcohol consumption can make sleep apnea worse. Some of the physical issues that can cause sleep apnea include:
Our dentists understand how disruptive and upsetting sleep apnea and snoring are to your sleep and your relationships. We will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan for sleep apnea to help you sleep and feel better. There are many treatment options to choose from ranging from non-invasive lifestyle changes like weight management, positional therapy in which you are trained to sleep on your side, or avoiding alcohol near bedtime. Many patients benefit from Continuous Pressure Air Pathways (CPAP) machines, oral appliances, and in some cases, surgery. The dentists at 866-FIX-TEETH understand that CPAP machines are not always the best option and provide oral appliances, like the Herbst appliance to hold the patient’s jaw in the correct position while he or she sleeps. This appliance stops the soft palate from relaxing and blocking the airways.