Sleep Apnea & Snoring

Improve Your Health & Quality of Life With Snoring & Sleep Apnea Custom Appliances From The Art of Smile Dental!

Are you tired, stressed out, and moody because of interrupted sleep due to snoring or sleep apnea? Sleep apnea also known as OSAS, or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, is a serious medical condition that is more widespread than the initially thought condition in which the person stops breathing for periods of 10 seconds or longer up to 50 to 60 times per hour while asleep. If we compare apnea to simple snoring, the snoring occurs due to the vibration of the soft tissue in the throat caused by a partial closure of the airway, whereas OSAS is caused by the complete closure of the airway, causing a person to stop breathing. Many factors may contribute to airway blockage, from the size of passages and oral or airway structures, to swelling of passageways or position of the tongue.

The closure of the airway causes breathing to stop, which in turn reduces the oxygen level in the blood. Lack of adequate breath during sleep reduces airflow, causing the brain to tell the body to wake up and breathe, interrupting the deep sleep cycle that makes people feel rested. While in some cases patients wake up completely many times per night, in many instances sleep apnea patients only move into a lighter stage of sleep. Despite the brain reacting to the lack of oxygen flow by directing the body to wake up, the person suffering from snoring or apnea is often unaware of this partial wakening during the night. In fact, many snorers who suffer from apnea don’t realize it.

A person suffering from OSAS snores loudly, stops breathing and then gasps for breath during sleep, resulting in interruption to their own as well as their partner’s sleep, leading to problems during the day, since the disruption of the deep sleep cycle can affect mood, health, and cause daytime sleepiness. The added stress and fatigue can cause lack of concentration, loss of memory, and accidents in the workplace or while driving. Research has demonstrated that the repeated falls in oxygen levels in the blood caused by OSAS are linked to the development of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and diabetes, and even a risk of premature death. The sleep apnea patient’s snores can disturb a sleeping partner’s rest, too.

Previously, once the OSAS diagnosis has been established, the golden standard of care has been to prescribe wearing a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) nasal mask at night. CPAP mask solves the problem by delivering a constant flow of air to keep the nasal passages open during sleep. However, modern dentistry has an even more effective and comfortable solution to offer. Patients may now wear special customized dental appliances that alleviate snoring and OSAS by repositioning the lower jaw, tongue and the soft palate in a way that prevents the soft tissues in the throat from closing the airways during sleep. In fact, the recent studies have shown dental appliances to be very effective for treatment of light-to-moderate cases of apnea.

The clear advantage of the snoring and OSAS appliances is that they are comfortable and easy to wear and can be custom fitted and regulated. Most people find that it only takes a few days to become acclimated to wearing the appliance. The fact that they are small in size and convenient makes them easy to carry when travelling.

A sleep apnea device can greatly improve your quality of life. It’s just another way your dentist can help you smile! Here at The Art of Smile Dental we are dedicated to improving the quality of life of people suffering from snoring and OSAS, their partners and families. We offer several types of snoring and apnea appliances.

To discuss your snoring and sleep apnea treatment options call us today.