FAQs About Sleep Apnea
Snoring occurs when soft tissues in your mouth, including your tongue or soft palate in the back of your throat, relax to the point where these soft tissues touch. Then, as you breathe, the tissues reverberate off one another, causing you to snore.
However, while sleep apnea commonly consists of snoring, snoring doesn’t necessarily mean you have sleep apnea. For either condition, we provide customizable appliances that prevent the tongue from blocking the respiratory passageway by slightly sliding your lower jaw outward. As a result, your airway widens for better airflow.
Snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) since a blockage in the respiratory passageway produces both conditions. Still, snoring may not always be an indicator of sleep apnea. Other forms of sleep apnea, such as CSA (central sleep apnea), result in incorrect messages sent from the brain to the muscles that control breathing rather than obstruction.
Try our sleep study to get the answers you need. Our take-home machinery will record your sleeping patterns. Then, upon returning the device, we’ll review the findings and provide treatment accordingly.
While sleep apnea occurs during any age, including 2% of children and up to 9% of adults, it’s most common for those over 40. It’s also four times more likely to occur for men than for women. Other risk factors include:
- Being overweight: Excess weight or thicker necks with extra tissue can weigh your throat, causing airflow restrictions. Men with 17-inch necks and women with 16-inch necks are more likely to feel these repercussions.
- Size of mouth/jaw: Having an enlarged tongue or small jaw
- Having large tonsils and adenoids are common factors in child sleep apnea that your dentist can alleviate with removal surgery.
- Sleeping position: Sleeping on your side can reduce obstruction of the passageway
- Alcohol and sedative use: These relax the muscles, causing them to sag and block airflow
- Nasal structure: Having a deviated septum or sinus or allergy concerns that obstruct the nasal passageway
While CPAP works 80% of the time, the uncomfortable mask and tube prove disruptive during sleep. In addition, noises from the machine, irritation on the face, and a feeling of suffocation lead many to consider other oral appliances. Other appliances are small enough for travel, rest in the mouth comfortably, and provide the same level of treatment.
Trust our follow-up sleep study with our sleep medicine physician if you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and currently use an oral appliance. They’ll review your treatment period and discuss any new findings.
There’s no guarantee that your health or dental insurance will cover treatment costs. While a medical insurance carrier may assist, our team will help you find the best possible payment plan.
If your insurance carrier doesn’t cover your treatment plan or you don’t have insurance, we’ll find a solution, placing your wellbeing first.
The discomfort of having a device in your mouth can take five to ten days of adjustment. First, however, you should report pain or pressure on your teeth so we can make alterations to your mouthpiece.
Like dental mouth guards, our oral appliances are sturdy acrylic, lasting up to five years. However, if you suffer from bruxism, you’ll need more frequent replacements.
The position of your teeth can slightly change as the mouthpiece rests against your teeth all night. However, we also provide a re-positioning piece to swap in during the morning.
Aside from the uncommon teeth shifting, extra salivation, dry mouth, and temporary soreness in your muscles are possible. If soreness persists, consult with our physicians.
While we suggest ways to improve your sleep apnea, including losing weight, surgery, and minor lifestyle changes, simply wearing the device won’t cure sleep apnea. If your muscles relax, causing you to develop sleep apnea, you’ll need the appliance to open up your passageway for the remainder of your lifetime.
Over-the-counter pieces may or may not treat your sleep disorder. What’s more, a bad fit can cause severe teeth movement and jaw pain. Our mouthguards, however, are custom-made for comfort.