You may think your snoring is harder on other members of your household than on you. After all, they’re the ones complaining. Yet snoring could be a sign that you have sleep apnea in Middlesex. If so, you likely struggle to stay awake during the day – and you may even be putting your health at risk. Medical research has linked apnea to serious conditions like heart disease.Doctor Ralph Reilly on sleep apnea solutions Read Transcript
Dr. Ralph R.: Well, sleep apnea is sort of a buzzword now. Most people have heard of it. When I first took my first seminar on that was over 30 years ago, and no one had even heard of it. We know now that this sleep apnea or people ceasing to breathe for lengths of time while they're sleeping causes a lot of health problems. It causes high blood pressure, is probably the most common. Fatigue during the day where people don't realize it, but when they're having a massive breath like that, when they get hypoxic at night, they wake up probably hundreds of times a night and don't even realize it though, and they're having fatigue during the day.
Dentistry, we can't really claim to treat sleep apnea because that would require a sleep study to be able to make the diagnosis for that, but we do what a lot of the people call “snore guards” or the dental appliances, and that's basically what we call a mandibular advancement device, that if you were to make a snoring sound, you'd put your jaw back. You make a restricted opening in the back of your mouth, and the air vibrates your soft palate. If you remember just back to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, the first thing was to pull the jaw forward. So, if someone is making a snoring sound and they move their jaw forward, it's impossible.
The airway gets enlarged, so it's a matter of not only fitting a device but determining how much opening or how much protrusion of the jaw is needed to create the airway that they need so that they're not obstructed. As opposed to the other alternatives, which are the CPAP machines, which, they're getting a lot better, but they're still pretty cumbersome as far as wearing and sleeping with at night, especially if you travel or you go camping. The dental device can be a lot quicker, easier fix kind of thing for the problem.
Our dentists can treat your sleep apnea symptoms with mouthguards. The mouthguards will:
- Stop you from snoring, so you and other members of your household can rest
- Reduce your risk of conditions associated with apnea, such as high blood pressure
- Keep your airway open as you sleep so you can breathe easily
- Help you stay more alert and focused during the day
- Give you a more comfortable and convenient alternative to a CPAP machine
If you’re often tired during the day or are experiencing other sleep apnea symptoms, call 732-506-2876.
A Sleep Apnea Appliance Is Less Intrusive Than a CPAP
Sleep apnea is commonly caused when your airway becomes obstructed as you sleep, often by your tongue. Two of the most common sleep apnea treatments are:
- A CPAP machine, which sends a stream of pressurized air down your throat to keep your airway open
- A mouthguard that gently moves your jaw into a position that keeps your airway clear
Cases of severe sleep apnea may require a CPAP, but those suffering from mild or moderate sleep apnea can use a mouthguard called a mandibular advancement device. Many sleep apnea sufferers find a mouthguard:
- Comfortable – A CPAP can dry out your nose and throat. You’ll breathe more naturally with a mouthguard, so you’re less likely to get dry mouth.
- Simple to Use – Unlike a CPAP, it’s as easy to use a mouthguard in a tent in the woods as it is in your own bedroom. A mouthguard requires no electricity or batteries.
- Noninvasive – A CPAP has a mask that covers at least part of your face and a tube that connects the mask to the machine. The mask and/or tubing can be difficult to adjust to and may bother your bed partner.