Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Sleep disorders are much more common than you may think. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans. This figure is, of course, based on reported instances. Many people may not know they suffer from sleep apnea until their symptoms are reported by a sleep partner. This means the real figure could be much higher.

At Aesthetic Family Dentistry, we offer oral appliances to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. An oral appliance can provide you with safer and more restful sleep!

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is characterized by the repeated cessation of breathing during sleep. There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the throat.

Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send the proper signals to your breathing muscles. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea. If you have been told you snore loudly, or feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you may have sleep apnea. Other symptoms include:

  • Choking or gasping noises during sleep
  • A sore throat or dry mouth in the morning
  • Waking up with a dull headache
  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Irritability
  • Trouble paying attention
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

What is Snoring?

sleep apnea & snoringSnoring occurs when your airway is partially blocked while you are sleeping. Typically, the blockage is caused by the base of your tongue or the tissues of your throat that relax and collapse into your airway when you sleep. These tissues vibrate when the air you are breathing passes over them, causing the snoring sound. Note that snoring may be a sign of a serious medical condition.

Many people snore and can be seen as a common sign due to tiredness. There are some light snorers and some that are way too loud.  Usually, the heavier snorers may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.

Not everyone that snores may have OSA but it is never a bad idea to get screened for a sleep breathing disorder.

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)?

UARS - Upper airway resistance syndromeUpper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) is a disorder that occurs when your airway is periodically blocked by the base of your tongue and soft tissues of your throat while you are sleeping. UARS is similar to snoring, except that the blockage causes you to briefly stop breathing and suffer from a lack of oxygen. Although your breathing stops only briefly, it is enough to wake you slightly, which keeps you from falling into a deep sleep. If you have UARS, you may not remember waking up at night, but you often feel fatigued during the day because you are not getting quality sleep.

How To Treat?

Aesthetic Family Dentistry works together with SleepArchiTx to offer a comfortable and simple treatment for treating sleep-related breathing disorders.

oral appliance therapy by SleepArchiTx

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliances are custom-made for you by Aesthetic Family Dentistry and SleepArchiTx. This ensures a comfortable fit. They are simple to wear and easy to care for. There are many types of FDA-cleared oral appliances available, and your dental practitioner will select the one that best meets your needs. Compliance rates with oral appliances have been shown to be much higher than compliance rates of other therapies, such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

Schedule Your Consultation

If you think you may have sleep apnea or concerns about your breathing or sleeping habits, we can help!

Call (907) 357-6684 to schedule your consultation appointment with Dr. Methven today!

Video, images and content reproduced with permission from Sleep Architects, Inc. Copyright © 2021 Sleep Architects, Inc.