A Word About Sleep
Recent studies have confirmed that sleep is one of the primary contributors to health and emotional well being. In fact, there is mounting proof that insufficient sleep increases risk of chronic diseases such as:
- Hypertension/High Blood Pressure
It is each night during several sleep cycles that the body is able to heal, refresh and renew - both physically and mentally. Consistent, nightly sleep provides an essential service to our health.
During a healthy night’s sleep, the body cycles through shallow sleep (REM) and into deep sleep. The patient who suffers from snoring or sleep apnea is disrupted before they are able to achieve and maintain their deep sleep. The solutions to snoring and sleep apnea are varied and depend upon you, your unique situation and helping you to achieve the best sleep possible.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances are small, and an easy-to-use, effective option for treatment of snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. They are recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in these cases, and have an exceptionally high success rate and a greater compliance rate than several other options.
How they work
Oral appliances fit over your teeth, much the same as a sports mouth guard. They are worn at night and are designed to move your lower jaw forward very slightly to reopen the airway. To be most effective, they should be custom fit by a dentist who has had additional training to fit and adjust them and to monitor any changes in your bite or jaw movement.
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused when the soft tissue at the back of the mouth and the tongue relax into the airway, during sleep. The resulting narrowing of the airway causes the breath traveling through it to speed up, in turn creating vibrations and snoring noises.
An airway that begins to narrow, vibrates and makes the snoring sound
In obstructive apnea, the airway is actually closed off by the tongue and tissue at the back of the mouth. When this happens, breathing is interrupted until the brain signals the body to waken and restore airflow. Once the body returns to breathing, the sufferer starts to drift off to sleep and the cycle of relaxation, closed airway and wakening repeat - sometimes more than once each minute! The snoring and gasping that may accompany this type of interrupted sleep can also disrupt the sleep of other household members with the same impact on their health.
The treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea include Oral Appliance Therapy, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Positional Changes and a number of surgical options. For more information click here.
When the airway is completely blocked, the body wakes itself to restart breathing
In normal breathing,
air flows easily
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