Real relief for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea
Are you or your partner losing sleep because of snoring?
Are you worried about possibly deriving sleep apnea from your snoring?
A dentist can do something about it by helping you determine the source of your snoring / sleep apnea complications.
What causes snoring?
During normal sleep, the airway is kept open by the muscles that control the tongue and the soft tissue at the back of the roof of your mouth. These muscles and tissues can relax when sleeping, causing a partial obstruction of your airway. This increases the speed of air flowing through the airway. This faster moving air passing over the tissues causes them to vibrate, producing the sound we know as snoring. It is estimated that 40% of adults over the age of 40 snore, half of them every night.
What is sleep apnea?
The negative consequences of sleep apnea are substantial. Sleep apnea can drastically reduce the quality of your sleep, which can cause morning headaches and daytime drowsiness. This increases your risks of getting into work or vehicle accidents since you’re unable to focus. People who drive daily or who operate heavy machinery are especially susceptible since one mistake can cost you your life. Also, because apnea sufferers aren’t getting enough oxygen during sleep, the condition has been linked to health problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, and stroke.
If you snore regularly, you are at a significantly increased risk of also suffering obstructive sleep apnea. This obstructive sleep apnea quiz outlines other symptoms you should look for. If you suspect you may have obstructive sleep apnea, please consult your doctor.
How can a Dentist Help?
Your dentist cannot provide a diagnosis. You need to see your doctor to confirm if your snoring is just that, or a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Once properly diagnosed, some dentists, including Dr. Jutras at Humber Valley Dental, have been trained to provide snoring guards. There are a large number of clinical studies that have shown that snoring guards reduce or eliminate snoring in most cases. Indeed, these devices have been proven so successful that they are also increasingly the preferred treatment chosen by doctors for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Depending on the causes and severity of your snoring or obstructive sleep apnea, there are a number of other possible treatments to consider.
How does a snoring guard work?
A snoring guard is similar in design to a sophisticated athletic mouth guard. It is designed to gently reposition your lower jaw forward during sleep to keep the airway open. In many cases, this completely eliminates snoring.
To make your snore guard, we begin by taking an impression of your upper and lower teeth. This allows us to have a guard custom made to comfortably fit your mouth. We then fit the guard and adjust it to achieve the ideal positioning of your lower jaw. Because the guards we use are easily adjustable, we can fine tune the positioning over time to get maximum benefits.
Are they comfortable?
Because they are custom moulded from an impression of your teeth, they are surprisingly comfortable. As you would expect, some people report a bit of discomfort from having the guard in their mouth for the first few nights, but this normally passes quickly as they get used to it.
Do they really work?
If you’ve already sought out solutions for snoring, you’ll know that there are no shortage of solutions that promise a lot, but don’t deliver much. Custom made and adjustable dental snoring guards are different. They have proven success rates of between 70 and 100% in a range of clinical studies. Our patients who have had guards made have reported real improvements.
But beware, not all guards are equal. Some can create silent apnea (remedy snoring but not apnea events), some cause or worsen jaw joint problems, some break easily and some simply don’t work. Depending upon a range of other oral health considerations, snore guards are not appropriate for all people. To determine if they may be right for you, consult a dentist who has received specific training in the use of dental appliances.