Madison No Fear Dentistry

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Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Enjoy going here! No complaints, just smiles :) -Kenzie

What Causes Snoring?

During sleep, muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth relax, shrinking the airway. This increases the velocity of airflow during breathing. As the velocity of required air is increased, soft tissues like the soft palate and uvula vibrate. The vibrations of these tissues result in "noisy breathing" or snoring.1

Sleep Apnea: the Dangers of Snoring

It is estimated that more than 90 million North Americans snorewhile 50 - 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disordersSnoring doesn't merely interrupt your sleep cycle; sleep disorders can lead to serious health problems.  The struggle for breath can result in soaring blood pressure, which can damage the walls of the carotid arteries and increase the risk of stroke.3  At certain levels of severity, complete blockage of the airway by the soft tissues and the tongue can occur.  If this period of asphyxiation lasts longer than 10 seconds, it is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a medical condition with serious long-term effects.According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, an estimated 18 million Americans have Obstructive Sleep Apnea with 80% - 90% of sufferers remaining undiagnosed and untreated.  Moderate sleep apnea increases the risk of death by 17%, and severe sleep apnea increases risk of death by up to 46%.

Reducing sleep from 7 hours a night to 5 hours doubles your risk of cardiovascular death.6  Other common health problems associated with sleep deprivation include daytime fatigue, increased blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, anxiety/depression, increased risk of vehicle accident, and reduced quality of life. 

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

In order to treat your condition, we must first diagnose your sleep disorder.  To differentiate between mild snoring to the more serious obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), we perform an at-home sleep study.  For a minimal fee, we provide you a portable sleep monitor which is small, light, and uses wireless technology to keep you as comfortable as possible during the overnight screening.  It has the same functionality of a full-fledged sleep software and can navigate, score, review, report, and export your sleep data and breathing patterns.  Then, a licensed physician will analyze the results to diagnose accordingly. 

Your Snoring and Sleep Apnea Solution

Relaxed and collapsed airway produces soft tissue vibrations during breathing, which result in snoring.  For the majority of patients, the most affordable, non-invasive, effective solution remains a dentist prescribed device.  The anti-snore device prevents sleep apnea by opening the airway and making breathing easier.  It is a custom-fabricated dental device that moves the lower jaw into a forward position, increasing space in the airway tube and reducing air velocity and soft tissue vibrations.  The custom fit is excellent and comfortable, permitting small movements of the jaw (TMJ) and allowing uninhibited oral breathing. 

Normal breathing during Sleep Obstructive Sleep Apnea Oral Device on teeth



Trouble Wearing Your CPAP?

Traditionally, a CPAP is prescribed to treat sleep apnea.  However, many patients find it difficult and uncomfortable. If you struggle wearing a CPAP, you might be a candidate for an oral appliance.  In 2006, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) stated that the first line of defense for a patient with mild or moderate sleep apnea is an oral appliance.   Every case is different and depends on your individual needs.  We are happy to discuss the best option for you.    


Comfortable Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The Accu-Fit design is the newest technology added to the dental appliances for treating patients with sleep apnea.  The unique custom thermal acrylic liner allows the appliance to fit at the first appointment without acrylic or wire adjustments.  The Accu-Fit design is ideal for patients who will require future dental work as the design eliminates costly remakes after dental work.  The thermal acrylic liner is remolded in hot water to fit the patient's arch after any additional dental restorations.          

(DynaFlex Adjustable Herbst Appliance pictured) 

Learn how we can help with those sleepless nights from your partner's snoring as it may be something more serious!  Watch our real patients share their journey through sleep apnea struggles: 

* References:

1. Isono S, Remmers J. Anatomy and physiology of upper airway obstruction.  Kryger MH, Roth T Dement WC, eds.  Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, 2nd ed.  WB Saunders and Co.  1994:642-56; 2. Young, T Palta M, Dempsey J, etal.  The occurrence of sleep-disordered breathing amoung middle-aged adults. N Engl Med. 1993;3328 (17):1230-5; 3. Friedlander AH, Yueh R Littner MR. The prevalence of calcified carotid atery athermoas in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1998;56(8):950-4; 4. American Academy of Sleep Medicine, International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD), Rochester, Minn., 1190; 5. The Institute of Medicine; 6. University College London; 7. Public Library of Science, Medicine