What Causes Snoring?
Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. But if you’re waking up gasping for breath, snoring in sudden bursts, or experiencing other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea (see below), you may need to see a sleep apnea dentist.
Most patients we treat have obstructive sleep apnea, caused by a blocked airway, which causes them to stop breathing in their sleep for 10–30 seconds.
When they finally take a breath, it either makes a loud, sudden snore or a gasping or choking sound. Often, the patient doesn’t wake up, though. The snoring is reported by their family.
Why Visit a Dentist for Sleep Apnea Treatment?
Why would you go to the dentist office about a sleep issue? Because we can help! That’s because:
- Oral tissue often blocks the flow of oxygen in the throat.
- We supply custom sleep apnea devices to open your airway naturally.
- We may help you adjust your sleep position or other habits to open the airway.
- We offer painless laser sleep apnea surgery to alter throat tissues.
The effects of sleep apnea, caused by oxygen deprivation and lack of rest, can be severe. Here are some of the therapies we use at our dental clinic to help.
Is the Invisalign process only for giving you straight teeth? It’s amazing for that, but we also use it as a sleep apnea treatment, redesigning a mouth for better airflow—and better sleep.
Sleep apnea causes can include a narrow bite and/or extremely crowded teeth. Both of which push the tongue into a position that blocks the airway. An Invisalign treatment can help by permanently changing the shape of your smile and the movement of your jaw, thus freeing up your tongue and opening your throat during the night.
During the process, we might also recommend you use a sleep apnea CPAP or sleep apnea mouth guard to improve your oxygen flow and give you better rest.
MARPE is a technique Dr. Woodlief often pairs with Invisalign treatment. It stands for miniscrew-assisted rapid palatal expansion. Basically, the expander device will be attached to the roof of your mouth. As you undergo Invisalign treatment, the MARPE device will slowly expand your soft palate. This will create more room for the tongue and for airflow.
An exciting new sleep apnea treatment involves our state-of-the-art NightLase Laser. We use it for laser dentistry, along with opening patient airways. The laser:
- Changes the shape of oral tissues, such as the tonsils.
- Only touches the tissues with focused light.
- Comes from a small, handheld device.
- Causes no pain and requires no anesthesia.
- Makes patients feel safe—and has helped patients sleep better.
Great results have ranged from patients having reduced snoring and sleep apnea symptoms all the way to almost completely eliminating snoring.
Oral Obstructive Sleep Apnea Device
A simple, comfortable oral device is one of the simplest sleep apnea solutions for some patients. You’ll just pop in a mouth guard before bed, and it will:
- Move the position of your jaw to open the airway.
- Stop your tongue from blocking your throat.
This type of device starts working right away when you get it and, unlike a sleep apnea CPAP machine, doesn’t require electricity, is easy to take with you on a trip, and is perfectly quiet.
Should I Be Worried About Sleep Apnea?
Finding a way to fix sleep apnea should be a top priority. That’s why we’ve studied sleep dentistry thoroughly at our dental practice.
When you stop breathing while sleeping many times per night, it deprives your body and brain of both vital oxygen and rest. This can lead to sleep apnea symptoms that include:
- Involuntary Sleep: Falling asleep while driving or on the job.
- Aches and Pains: Migraine headaches, muscle tremors, and other pains.
- Loud Snoring: Excessively loud snoring that can disrupt others’ sleep.
- Weight Gain: Lost rest changes hormones, which may lead to overeating.
- Moodiness: Irritability, depressed mood, and mood instability.
- Trouble Concentrating: Poor rest inhibits creativity, will power, and memory.
- Diabetes: Sleep apnea has been linked to type 2 diabetes.
- Heart and Liver Conditions: High blood pressure, heart attacks, liver scarring, and more.
- Drug Reactions: Untreated sleep apnea sometimes causes dangerous reactions to anesthesia, drugs, and surgery.
- Metabolic Syndrome: A combination of high blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and more.
If you think you’re sleeping enough but have some unexplained signs of sleep apnea, you may need a sleep study to find out more.
Call Us Today to Find Out More About Snoring and Sleep Apnea
You don’t have to suffer from sleep deprivation. We offer treatments to give you a full night’s rest and a better life. Make an appointment at Advanced Dentistry by Design now for a FREE snoring and sleep apnea consultation.