Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes, and can occur 5-30 times an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that disrupts your sleep. It causes you to move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pattern changes. This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. When you try to breath, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring.
- Loud snoring followed by cessation of breathing
- Gasping and choking during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Drowsy driving
- Awakened not rested in the morning
- A sour taste in the mouth in the morning
- Morning headaches
A convenient and inexpensive approach is an oral appliance provided by an orthodontist. Oral appliances are worn during sleep to prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat so that the airway stays open during sleep. They are worn much like an orthodontic appliance/retainer or sports mouth guard. The appliance will allow for adequate air intake, which allows for normal sleep for people who snore and have sleep apnea.
Oral appliances are custom fit for maximum comfort and ease, and have been shown to be highly effective in treating symptoms of sleep apnea, especially snoring and interrupted breathing.
There are many different types of sleep apnea dental devices, including the Herbst appliance, OSAP, Silent Nite, and Somnoguard AP Pro. The different devices account for variation in jaw size and shape, type and severity of apnea, and tolerance levels.
Depending on which appliance is used, they can last for years. Most appliances are constructed to withstand normal wear and tear, and we can repair or reinforce your appliance periodically to increase its functionality. Tooth grinding and other excess wear and tear can shorten the lifespan of your appliance.
For a complimentary examination appointment to see if you have a dental alignment problem and what treatment would be right for you, please contact us online or call 650-961-5047.
We'll answer any questions you may have, and give you a free written estimate regarding costs and insurance benefits before you leave.
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