Sleep Apnea occurs when breathing is interrupted during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by blockage in the airway, usually when the back of the throat collapses to cover the air passage during sleep. Snoring is a less severe form of sleep apnea, but can still damage the airways and lead to serious health complications. Thanks to advancements in dental care, treatment for sleep apnea can be as simple as a nightly “mouth guard” provided by your dentist.
Sleep apnea affects certain groups of people disproportionally. Most likely candidates for sleep apnea fall into the following categories:
- Over age 40
- Have a large neck, tonsils, tongue, or jaw bones
- Have genetic history of sleep apnea
- Have GERD (a type of acid reflux)
- Experience allergies, sinus problems, or a deviated septum
Complications of Sleep Apnea
Snoring and sleep apnea may seem benign or even comical, but some complications can arise that have serious consequences. If you snore frequently or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be at risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Stroke, heart attack, heart failure, heart palpitations
- Increase in ADHD symptoms
- Fatigue, difficulty focusing or staying awake during the day
While home treatments like losing weight, sleeping on your side at night, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can decrease your risk for complications due to sleep apnea, most dentists recommend a dental sleep aid to ensure a safe and quality night’s sleep.
Silent Nite: an alternative to surgery
In recent years, noninvasive options like dental devices have quickly become the best treatment for sleep apnea and snoring. These measures serve as a desirable alternative to surgery, which usually involved removing parts of the mouth or throat tissue that played a role in snoring, such as the tonsils or parts of the soft palate.
“Silent Nite” is a dental device designed for snorers and sufferers of sleep apnea. Silent Nite looks like a mouth guard, and is customized by your dentist to fit your unique mouth. The device shifts the lower jaw slightly forward, which increases space in the airway and can prevent airway obstruction. Because of the “slide-link” and fit customization, Silent Nite is comfortable to wear and doesn’t cause jaw stiffness.
Interested in trying Silent Nite for your snoring or sleep apnea? Contact TruBlu Dentistry today!