Advanced Family Dentistry | Snoring/Sleep Apnea
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Snoring/Sleep Apnea

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring and sleep apnea have become a larger health problem in the United States.

Snoring

Especially a problem when you sleep on your back. Your lower jaw drops back making your airway smaller. As you breath, tissue in your throat vibrates causing you so snore. One possible solution is to make a dental device which holds your lower jaw forward. This opens your airway making it easier to breathe while you sleep which can eliminate snoring.

Other Possible Solutions to Snoring:

  • Sleep on your side. You can put a pillow behind your back to help you not roll over. Old technique- take a fanny pack, and put 2 tennis balls in it. Wear it backward while you sleep to make sure the tennis balls are on your back.
  • Sleep slightly elevated.
  • If allergies are blocking your airway- try allergy medication or nose drops.
  • Limit alcohol- do not drink any alcohol, especially 2 hours before you go to bed.
  • Surgery to open your airway.

Sleep Apnea | Stop Snoring | Advanced Family Dentistry | Dentist in Cedar Park TX

Sleep Apnea

This is a serious medical condition where people do not get enough oxygen while they sleep. This can affect adults and children. This condition can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and even death. Symptoms in adults can include: heavy snoring, falling asleep during the day, always tired, high blood pressure, dark circles under your eyes, and a scalloping appearance along the sides of your tongue. Symptoms in children can include heavy snoring, hyperactivity, and black circles under their eyes. Being overweight can be a huge factor in sleep apnea. About 90% of the time sleep apnea is caused by a constricted airway (congenitally small airway, being overweight which puts pressure on muscles affecting breathing, being overweight and storing fat around your neck). Sleep apnea can also be neurologic in about 10% of the time. If you are having symptoms of sleep apnea, see a sleep specialist (normally an ENT or Neurologists who is board certified in sleep apnea). Your dentist may recognize symptom sleep apnea but is not qualified to diagnose it. If your sleep specialists believe you have sleep apnea, they will normally recommend an overnight sleep study in a sleep clinic.

Possible Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea in Adults:

  • Loss of weight.
  • Surgery- to open the airway.
  • If neurologic can be controlled with medication.
  • Cpap- a device you wear over your nose or mouth while you sleep to help you breathe. Very reliable but must be tested with a sleep study to make sure it works.
  • Dental device (normally a TAP appliance) to hold your lower jaw forward while you sleep. Only effective in mild to moderate sleep apnea. Before making this appliance, your condition must be diagnosed by a sleep specialist, your dentist makes the device, and another sleep study is done to make sure the device works. Qualified dentists can make the device, but are not qualified to properly test it. Before making a sleep apnea device, a dentist must have at least 12 hours of training in sleep apnea. Dr. Gerhardt at Advanced Family Dentistry has this training plus has lectured in this subject.

Possible Treatment Options in Children:

  • Have adenoids and tonsils removed.
  • Treat allergies.