SNORING & SLEEP APNEA
Dentistry has progressed tremendously in treating sleep problems with oral airway appliances.
For many people, snoring may not involve a serious medical disorder and can easily be treated successfully with an oral sleep appliance. Look for signs that restful sleep is not taking place: daytime sleepiness, headache upon awakening, restless or fragmented sleep or waking up due to gasping for breath. If these occur, then it can be a medical condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
There is a very clear link between occlusion (bite), upper airway, tongue position and TMJ dysfunction. We perform a comprehensive examination to determine whether the patient is a candidate for an oral sleep appliance. This exam involves:
Usually the patient is referred to a sleep specialist for a medical assessment and a sleep study. When we receive the physician's report and it concurs with our findings, an oral sleep appliance is custom-made and fitted to wear at night.
The purpose of the appliance is to open the airway allowing for normal breathing by moving the lower jaw forward and downward causing a positive change in the jaw and tongue position.
Many oral sleep appliances have FDA approval and are supported by the National Institutes of Health. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine has issued new guidelines that support the use of oral sleep appliances for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
Alternative treatments include (1) Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and (2) Surgery. CPAP is widely prescribed by sleep physicians. However, over half of all CPAP users will not wear the mask on a consistent basis. Surgery is costly and invasive without predictable results.
An oral airway appliance can be utilized as the ONLY treatment or can be used in conjunction with CPAP or surgery methods. Advantages of an airway oral appliance over other treatments are:
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale Test
Please click here to download our The Epworth Sleepiness Scale Test.