Snoring is a very common symptom of a serious health condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. In cases of obstructive sleep apnea, there’s complete obstruction of the airway during sleep and it requires immediate treatment.
A person with obstructive sleep apnea wakes up 50 times or more per hour. These awakenings are called micro-arousals which last just long enough to restore the normal muscle tone to the airway in order to normalize the breathing patterns. These micro-arousals greatly disturb deep and restful sleep.
Northbrook dentist, Dr. Steven Kacel talks about the following signs and symptoms that confirm the presence of sleep apnea:
- Irregular pauses with snoring
- Gasping or choking after pauses
- Excessive sleepiness during daytime
- Extreme morning headaches
- Mood swings and personality changes
- Depression and irritability
- Dry mouth and sore throat after waking up
- Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
- Attention-deficit problems
- Frequent waking up at night to urinate
- Decreased libido
Treatment of Snoring and Sleep Apnea with Different Dental Devices
Different dental devices are extremely beneficial in effective treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. There are numerous options and your Northbrook dental care provider will recommend one that fits your particular needs in the safest way.
One such device is the mandibular advancement device. This device is one of the most widely accepted dental appliances for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. This device has the appearance of a sports mouth guard and it helps keep sleep apnea at bay by forcing the lower jaw down and slightly forward. This approach is tremendously helpful in keeping the airway open during sleep, thereby preventing the breathing problems.
Another device is a tongue-retaining device which is also extremely helpful in treating sleep apnea. This device is applied to the tongue and it holds the tongue down in order to keep the airway open. The patients are advised to use these devices but it’s crucial to make regular visits to your dentist because the treatment requires supervision and periodic adjustments, or even replacements of the device. Also remember, only an expert dentist can fit, fabricate, adjust, monitor, and manage the complications associated with these dental treatments. Dr. Kacel, trusted dentist in Northbrook, IL, had specialized training in the application and management of these dental devices.
Other than the treatment of sleep apnea, these dental devices also help in improving the sleep patterns, reduce the frequency and loudness of snoring, and increase the duration of uninterrupted sleep.
One orthodontic treatment is also available to treat the condition of obstructive sleep apnea. This treatment is called rapid maxillary expansion. It involves temporary application of a screw like device into the upper jaw of the patient and tightening of this screw on a regular basis. This rapid maxillary expansion can also be helpful for patients suffering from breathing problems due to a narrow upper jaw. It’s a nonsurgical dental procedure and it’s highly effective in decreasing the nasal pressure and rectifying the breathing patterns.