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Do you or a loved one snore? While snoring may be harmless and keep your loved ones awake at night, it could be a bigger problem than you think! Approximately 50% of adults snore at least occasionally. It is estimated that 5-10% of adults have Obs and only 10% of the population has been adequately screened for appropriate diagnosis. Snoring and Sleep Apnea can take a toll on your quality of life.
What causes Snoring and Sleep Apnea
During sleep muscles relax, including those that control your tongue and throat. The soft tissue at the back of your throat can sag, narrowing the airway. Incoming air then makes the tissue at the rear of the roof of your mouth, the flap of skin hanging from the palate and the throat vibrate – a sound we know as snoring.
Loud snoring could be a sign of more serious problem – Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This is where the airway becomes completely blocked and breathing stops. The brain detects the lack of oxygen and prompts a momentary arousal to draw breath. This is known as an Apnea episode.
Those with severe OSA may experience hundreds of apnea episode per night and are unlikely to remember any of them. In fact, if you live alone or sleep separately, you may not be aware of their condition, even after many years. Anyone can get OSA, even kids. The disorder is more common in older people, more specifically men.
Treatments of Sleep Apnea
There’s a variety of treatments that can improve snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. Here are 4 different treatment options:
Avoiding alcohol and sedatives, not smoking, controlling any allergies and following good sleeping habits can decrease the severity of snoring and OSA. These changes are often combined with other forms of treatment to maximize the benefits.
Sleeping on your side can help keep the airway open during sleep. Placing a pillow (wedge shaped) behind your back can help you remain on your side throughout the night.
CPAP Therapy is a common and effective treatment for moderate to severe OSA. Continuous positive airway pressure forces pressurized air from a bedside machine through a mask into your nose and throat to keep the air passage open while you sleep.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Provided by your Dentist, Oral Appliance Therapy (OAP) is the first and most comfortable option to the CPAP Machine. Oral dental appliances are small plastic devices that you wear in your mouth, similar to an orthodontic retainer or sport mouth guard. Oral appliances keep your tongue and soft tissues from falling back in your throat, so the airway stays open. OAP can effectively treat snoring and mild to moderate OSA.
A Dentist Can Help! Watch this video on the treatment of Sleep Apnea.
Are you looking to finally get a good night sleep? Dr. Edward Gelfand and his team of Dentists in Toronto, Newmarket, Kingston and more can help! Learn more about Snoring and Sleep Apnea at our FREE seminar on Tuesday November 3rd at 6:30pm. We’ll help patients understand how a Dawson Dental Centre Dentist will work with your medical doctor to get you the good night sleep you need.