Snoring and Sleep Apnea
During sleep, your tongue and throat tissues may relax enough to narrow your airway. Snoring is the sound that is produced when air passes through this partially blocked area causing tissues to vibrate.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
OSA is medical condition where your tongue and soft tissues actually close off your airway and stop air from entering your lungs. When this happens during sleep, the oxygen in your blood decreases, your heart races, and your brain panics-causing you to disrupt your sleep. After a few good breaths, the cycle repeats itself, all night long.
What can your dentist do to help?
The good news is that Oral Appliance Therapy has proven to be very successful in the management of snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. A dental appliance is a small plastic device, similar to an orthodontic retainer, or an athletic mouthguard. It is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Dentists with training in dental appliance therapy can prescribe these special appliances to meet their patients individual situations and conditions.