Treating Sleep Apnea & Snoring at the Cause
If you have been told that you snore loudly or make frequent gasping noises when you sleep, it is very possible that you have a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you continually stop breathing for as little as 10 seconds, or as long as one minute or more, during your sleep session. Over an 8-hour sleeping period, you could potentially stop breathing hundreds of times. Sleep disorder breathing in children has been linked to ADHD and is the major contributing factor in the need for orthodontics. Children with persistent sleep apnea are six times more likely to have behavioral problems including hyperactivity, communication and social competency problems and are predisposed to bed wetting. Early diagnosis can change a child’s and whole family’s life!
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Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The most common type of sleep apnea occurs when your airway (trachea) becomes completely blocked so that no air can move into your lungs. Called obstructive sleep apnea, it usually begins with your airway becoming partially blocked causing you to snore. As your airway closes entirely, you stop breathing. The lack of oxygen to your brain signals you to wake up so you can breathe again, even though you may not consciously remember waking up to take a breath.
As this process is repeated throughout the night, what you will notice in the daytime hours are the effects of sleep apnea on your body and mind:
- Low energy levels
- Concentration difficulties
- Dry or sore throat
- Tendency to nod off
Central Sleep Apnea
Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Your trachea can become completely blocked during sleep for several different reasons, such as:
- Your tongue fall back too far
- Excess fatty tissue obstructs your airway
- A retruded mandible restricts airway when muscles are relaxed
- Large tonsils/adenoids
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not tell your muscles to breathe. You may exhibit the same type of symptoms as in obstructive sleep apnea, so it is important to have your condition properly diagnosed by a sleep study clinic in order to get the proper treatment.
Sleep apnea not only interrupts your sleep but also your quality of life. If you live in Barrie or Toronto and have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Adam Chapnick at Molson Park Dental Office to arrange a sleep apnea treatment consultation.
We are a Family Friendly Practice
At Molson Park Dental Office, we provide family dentistry services. Toronto and Barrie dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick works with every child to build trust and comfort through the entire dental visit process.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SLEEP APNEA
What are the effects of sleep apnea?
Personal relationships often suffer from sleep apnea because your lingering fatigue can lead to irritability and depression. Sleeping next to a person who has sleep apnea can be equally as disruptive to your own rest, forcing you to move to another room in the house to get proper rest.
Besides being perpetually tired, sleep apnea disturbs the flow of oxygen to your body, which can result in serious health conditions such as stroke, high blood pressure and heart problems.
Are certain people more susceptible to getting sleep apnea?
Yes. If certain conditions exist, obstructive sleep apnea becomes more likely. If you have any of the regular symptoms of sleep apnea and possess any of the below features, we recommend you visit a sleep study clinic to determine if you are suffering from this condition:
- Neck size is greater/ than 17 inches for men or 16 inches for women
- Carry excess weight on your body
- Lower jaw is recessed
- Over 40 years of age
- Obstructive sleep apnea runs in the family
- Over-sized tonsils or uvula
- Obstruction in the nasal passage
Can children get sleep apnea?
Yes. Your child may have obstructive sleep apnea if he or she exhibits any of the normal symptoms of sleep apnea along with other symptoms, such as:
- Hyperactivity or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Nightmares or night terrors
- Developmental problems
- Often the removal of the tonsils and adenoids can alleviate sleep apnea in children.
Will an oral appliance help my sleep apnea?
If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea rather than central sleep apnea, an oral sleep apnea appliance should greatly reduce or eliminate your sleep apnea and snoring. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a physician or sleep study clinic, Dr. Chapnick can custom fit you for a mouthpiece that will keep your airway open as you sleep.
How does central sleep apnea differ from obstructive sleep apnea?
Central sleep apnea is the result of your brain not communicating with your muscles to breathe properly as you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by blockage of your trachea or airway. You can suffer from one, or both of these conditions simultaneously.
If you live in Barrie or Toronto and have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, please contact Molson Park Dental Office’s sleep apnea treatment dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick for a sleep apnea consultation.
Sleep Apnea Appliances – SomnoDent
Snoring, frequent gasping or chocking sounds and fatigue during daytime hours are just a few symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. If you have been diagnosed with this condition physiologic dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick can offer you treatment through oral appliance therapy.
Types of Oral Appliances
You may wonder how a mouthguard-type piece of plastic would eliminate sleep apnea. Mouthguards are used to protect your teeth during contact sports or prevent you from grinding your teeth at night. Sometimes they can even improve your athletic performance, as with Pure Power Mouthguards™ (PPM™). The oral appliances used to treat sleep apnea arefit to both upper and lower jaws and they change the position of your lower jaw (mandible) to allow your airway to remain open as you sleep.
Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Dr. Chapnick most often treats diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea with either a SommnoDent or Mico2 mandibular advancement device. This is an oral appliance therapy that helps to keep your tongue from falling back into your airway by positioning your lower jaw forward. Something as seemingly simple as a sleep apnea appliance can have a dramatic effect on your overall health.
How to Treat Snoring
Loud snoring rarely affects the perpetrator’s sleep pattern (unless it exists as the first stage of sleep apnea), but if you live with a snorer you know how disruptive it can be to your own nightly rest. No matter how many times you nudge the snorer, or hide your head under a pillow, this condition is bound to continue unless treatment is sought. Cosmetic dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick provides effective treatment options for snoring so that your house can become a quiet haven for restful sleep.
If you are a frequent snorer, it is advisable to have your condition checked to make sure you are not suffering from a more serious medical condition.
SOMNOMED ORAL APPLIANCES
The SomnoDent MAS device is a comfortable and adjustable mouthpiece that fits over your upper and lower teeth arches. Each piece is custom-made in a dental laboratory to fit the exact contours of your mouth. The goal of the unit is to position your lower jaw forward as you sleep so that the soft tissues in your mouth do not collapse on your airway. It can be adjusted to provide just the right amount of lower jaw movement.
One of the main advantages of the SomnoDent MAS product is that the upper and lower arches are not locked together so you can open your mouth freely while wearing it.
SomnoDent MAS can even be used if you have dental bridges or dental crowns; however, it is important to have a sufficient number of healthy teeth in your smile for the oral appliance to work.
TAP ORAL APPLIANCES
The TAP product is also a custom made, adjustable oral appliance that helps to keep your lower jaw positioned forward as you sleep. In this product, the upper and lower arches are attached together via the TAP to ensure that your airway remains clear.
The advantage of the TAP is that you have control over the adjustments of your lower jaw positioning using a small key while the appliance is still in your mouth. You or someone else can use this key to make the necessary modifications to the setting of the appliance. Many patients like this degree of control over their mouthpiece and the level of comfort it provides.
If you live in the Barrie or Toronto areas and would like to learn more about sleep apnea appliances, please contact cosmetic dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick at Molson Park Dental Office to schedule a sleep apnea treatment consultation.
The MicrO2 device is custom made to uniquely fit each individual that it is fabricated for. The device comes in two parts that can be fabricated to the patients neuromuscular or physiological rest position. One device fits over your upper teeth and one over your lower teeth. The device will also have a series of additional Upper or Lower devices; each one in the series is designed to move the jaw forward incrementaly. There are no confusing mechanisms to adjust on the actual device. Jaw advancements can be easily achieved by simply removing the current Upper or Lower device and inserting the next Upper or Lower device in the MicrO2 advancing series.
The MicrO2 device can holds your lower jaw from ‘falling’ backward or in a slightly forward position, thus preventing throat tissues from occluding the back of the throat. This opens the way for airflow and helps reduce snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Why People Snore
Snoring occurs when your airway becomes partially blocked by your tongue or excess fat as the muscles in your mouth begin to relax. The narrowed airway causes vibration of your soft tissues because the air is forced faster through the passage. People who have physically smaller airways are even more prone to snoring. Other situations that can increase the likelihood for snoring include:
- Over-sized tonsils
- Longer uvula (the soft tissue projection that hangs above the back of the tongue)
- Over-consumption of alcohol prior to sleeping
- Being overweight
- Deviated septum
- Congested nasal passages
- Sleep apnea
Why People Snore
Snoring Treatment by Dentists
Dr. Chapnick and his team use oral appliance therapy to help treat snoring and sleep apnea. Designed much like a mouthguard, these treatments go a step beyond protecting your teeth by keeping the lower jaw slightly jutted forward to keep your airway clear. The main snoring treatments used at Molson Park Dental Office include:
- SomnoDent® MAS therapy by SomnoMed
- Thornton Adjustable Positioner® (TAP) by Airway Management, Inc.
These devises are custom made to fit your teeth and mouth comfortably and solve your specific problems. They change the position of your uvula, tongue and jaw, and keep everything in a balanced position as you sleep.
In addition to oral appliance therapy, you can do your part to help alleviate snoring, such as:
- Avoid sleeping on your back
- Lose weight by maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen
- Avoid heavy alcohol or drug consumption before bed
If you are a snorer who is disrupting the sleep of those around you, it may be time to seek treatment. Please contact Molson Park Dental Office in Barrie or Toronto, to arrange a snoring treatment consultation by Dr. Adam Chapnick.