Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Adequate restorative sleep supports a healthy mind and body, so when loud snoring or sleep-disordered breathing interferes with deep sleep, it has a negative impact on overall health.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Loud snoring is always a nuisance and can indicate the presence of a medical condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the tissue and structures at the back of the throat relax during sleep and obstruct the airway, causing snoring, gasping, and interrupted breathing patterns. When breathing stops, the brain sends the signal to wake and restore breathing. Patients with OSA may not remember these waking instances, though they can occur dozens of times per night.
As a result, the body does not obtain adequate oxygen or the restorative sleep necessary for optimum function.
Health implications of OSA may include:
- Heart disease
- Premature death
- Mood disorders
Due to fatigue, an increased risk of auto accidents can put your life – and others' – at risk.
Diagnosis and Treatment of OSA
An OSA diagnosis requires an at-home or overnight clinical sleep study and interpretation from an accredited sleep specialist. Once the doctor diagnoses the presence of obstructive sleep apnea, they will also recommend treatment based on the severity of the condition.
The gold standard of treatment for OSA usually involves continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP treatment utilizes a facemask that has a constant flow of air to keep the airway open.
Unfortunately, many patients find CPAP therapy challenging to adjust to or wake up only to find they have removed their mask during the night, leaving them unprotected. Compliance is essential to prevent severe medical conditions associated with OSA and to achieve adequate sleep.
Oral Appliance Therapy Treatment for OSA
At our Beachwood, OH dental office, Dr. Yovi Taub offers an alternative to CPAP treatment for patients with mild to moderate OSA.
OSA appliances gently reposition the jaws to open the airway. Many OSA patients find this alternative much more convenient and comfortable – especially for those who travel frequently.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine finds that oral appliance therapy (OAT) can significantly reduce sleep-disordered breathing. They recommend that physicians suggest OAT as an alternative for patients who prefer an option other than CPAP therapy or who are non-compliant rather than leaving the condition untreated.
Snoring Treatment in Beachwood
Oral appliances also quiet non-OSA snoring, improving sleep for both the patient and their partner. Because snoring and OSA are closely linked, regular sleep evaluations are recommended for patients who snore.
Do You Have an OSA Diagnosis?
If you have a diagnosis from your doctor and they recommended oral appliance therapy for your condition, contact Beachwood Smiles to schedule an appointment with Dr. Taub to learn more about your sleep device options.