Chronic, loud snoring can prevent you and your bed partner from getting a good night’s sleep. It can also have a negative impact on your life. The sound you hear when a person snores is the result of vibration, as air passes over soft tissues in the upper airway.
It is usually caused by the tongue falling back into the throat, or muscles relaxing too much, restricting the airway. Excess tissue, a long, narrow airway, or weak muscles, are common contributing factors.
OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is also caused by an obstruction of the airway. However, instead of limiting airflow, it momentarily stops the person from breathing. As the level of oxygen drops, the brain sends out a panic signal, partially awakening the individual. As muscles contract and the airway opens, normal breathing resumes.
An apnea event (pause in breathing) is usually followed by gasping, choking, and loud snoring. As soon as breathing stabilizes, the person falls back into a deep sleep, often without ever becoming fully conscious. As sleep resumes, the muscles begin relaxing, and the process starts all over again. An individual with sleep apnea may go through this cycle hundreds of times every night.
Poor quality sleep can cause excess daytime sleepiness, difficulty focusing, and fatigue. When combined with routine oxygen deprivation, the effects can be even more serious. Scientific research has proven that OSA patients are at greater risk of developing heart problems (such as congestive heart failure, heart attack, or hypertension), strokes, and even traffic accidents.
The ideal treatment for Sleep Apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. A personal physician often prescribes this after one has participated in a sleep study to diagnosis the degree of sleep apnea.
At our office we provide comfortable, convenient treatment with oral appliance therapy.
Often these appliances are made for those who cannot tolerate a CPAP machine, or for those who do not want to travel with the machine. These small, lightweight devices are custom-made for a perfect fit and maximum effectiveness. They work by holding the airway open, preventing apnea events. Appliances can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments such as lifestyle changes, CPAP, or weight management.
Although use of the CPAP machine is the best treatment for sleep apnea many patients discontinue use on a regular basis because they cannot tolerate the device. In these cases, use of oral devices are a great and more comfortable option for those individuals who cannot use the CPAP machine.
Approximately 40 apnea appliances have been cleared by the FDA, and they are now considered the gold standard of treatment in many situations. Different styles work differently.
They may reposition or stabilize the tongue, jaw, or soft palette.
Dr. Wheeler has extensive training and experience in the treatment of sleep apnea. He is and active member in the American Academy Dental Sleep Medicine. He will evaluate your situation to determine what appliance would be most effective, and customize it for maximum relief.
Call our office at (310) 539-8616 and schedule an appointment today.
23560 Madison Street
Torrance, CA 90505
Monday – Friday 8AM – 5PM
After Hours or Emergencies