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Non-Invasive Solutions for Anyone Who Snores!
As your body falls into a deep stage of sleep, your soft palate, tongue and throat relax as well. This causes throat tissues to partially block the airway. Snoring is the vibration heard when air is forced across relaxed throat tissues. Depending on the degree of restriction – the less space the air has to move – the more the tissues vibrate and the louder the snoring.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing stops and starts during sleep due to physical obstructions of the airway. Although continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the most common treatment for patients with OSA, many of our patients find it is a high maintenance, cumbersome and uncomfortable way to get a good night sleep.
For Dr. Blum and Associates patients that suffer from either snoring or sleep apnea can benefit from a substitute treatment such as oral dental appliances such as a mouth guard. Much like an athletic mouth guard, this style may fit around your head and chin to adjust the position of your lower jaw.
Dental solutions are primarily for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Mild OSA: the patient experiences 5-14 episodes of interruptions in breathing per hour. Moderate OSA: the patient experiences 15-30 episodes of interruptions in breathing per hour. Severe OSA: the patient experiences 30 or more interruptions in breathing per hour.
There are Two Major Categories of Dental Devices:
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) and Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces
MADs used to treat sleep apnea look like sports mouth guards or orthodontic retainers. They fit into the mouth by going over the upper and lower dental arches and have metal hinges connecting the two pieces: one fits over the lower teeth, and the other fits over the upper teeth.
MADs work by pushing the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward, which helps prevent throat muscles from collapsing into the airways allowing for consistent breathing during sleep. MADs are adjustable, allowing for dentists to dial in the correct position of the jaw for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
Dr. Blum and Associates make custom fitted oral devices that our patients find to be more comfortable and tolerable to wear as opposed to CPAP masks. Our oral devices do not create issues such as dry, itchy noses from the air pressure drying out their sinuses. Patients that are active movers during sleep tend to knock-off other types of devices while custom oral devices stay in place. Another benefit is that dental devices are small and much easier to travel with.
Some of our patients who were unsuccessful with other medications and therapies or have refused surgeries such as tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, tracheostomy, craniofacial operations have found a mouth guard to be the solution.