Sleep Apnea & Snoring
It is estimated that more than 90 million N. Americans snore. Taking into account the snorer’s spouse and children, as many as 160 million people are negatively affected by snoring. Snoring doesn’t merely interrupt your sleep cycle. The struggle for breath can result in soaring blood pressure, which can damage the walls of the carotid arteries and increase the risk of stroke. At certain levels of severity, complete blockage of the airway space by the soft tissues and the tongue can occur. If this period of asphyxiation lasts longer than 10 seconds, it is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a medical condition with serious long-term effects. In OSA the body reacts to the closure of the airway by disrupting deep sleep enough to start breathing again, but deprives the sufferer of getting a “good night’s sleep”. With a blocked air passage one does not receive enough oxygen. Both the awakenings and oxygen deprivation can then trigger other health problems.
Sleep Apnea can cause:
- Chronic Sleepiness
- Heart Attacks
- Morning Headaches
- High Blood Pressure
What causes snoring?
During sleep, muscles and soft tissue in the throat and mouth relax, shrinking the airway. This increases the velocity of airflow during breathing. As the velocity of required air is increased, soft tissues like the soft palate and uvula vibrate. The vibration of these tissues result in “noisy breathing” or snoring. Surgical techniques used to remove respiration-impairing structures have shown moderate success rates (20-40 percent). For the majority of snorers, however, the most affordable noninvasive, comfortable and effective snoring solution remains a dental-prescribed oral appliance.
Treatment of OSA and Snoring
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine now recommends oral appliances such as EMA as a front line of treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, and in cases where CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) has not been tolerated. What people like about oral appliances is that they fit entirely inside the mouth, they are portable, they do not use electricity or make noise that would bother a sleeping partner, and they allow the wearer to change sleep positions.
Silent Nite is a custom-fabricated dental device that moves the lower jaw into a forward position, increasing space in the airway tube and reducing air velocity and soft tissue vibration. Special Slide-Link connectors are attached to transparent flexible upper and lower splints. The fit is excellent and comfortable, permitting small movements of the jaw and allowing uninhibited oral breathing.
EMA is FDA cleared for the treatment of both Obstructive Sleep Apnea and snoring. It works by opening the bite and gently advancing the mandible (or jaw) with elastic straps to increase airway space. EMA offers advantages not found in other oral appliances:
- You can talk and even drink water while wearing it.
- It is completely free of metal and the EMA elastic straps are Latex Free.
- You can easily change the EMA elastic straps yourself; no additional trips to the dentist needed.
TAP 3 Elite
The goal of the TAP 3 Elite is to prevent snoring and apnea, thereby improving health and quality of life. The Thonton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) is based on the same principle as CPR. The airway must be opened to allow air to pass through the throat. A constricted or collapsed airway causes snoring or sleep apnea. The TAP 3 Elite is a custom adjustable oral appliance that is worn while sleeping. The appliance holds the lower jaw forward, preventing the tongue and soft tissue of the throat from collapsing into the airway. There is a 96% success rate for people treated with the TAP 3 Elite.