Often times, snoring is a pre-cursor to a more critical health concern,
known as sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea experience an obstruction in
their airway. Most of the time, they don't even realize it. The
obstruction prevents them from getting oxygen regularly throughout the
night. Sleep apnea is a major contributing factor to heart disease. Those
suffering from sleep apnea experience elevated blood pressure which is a
key risk factor in acquiring heart disease and strokes.
The outcome of sleep loss can result in serious health concerns and premature death. Sleep deprivation can have negative effects on the function of your brain, increasing stress hormones and leading to depression.
Even if you have only mild sleep apnea, being fitted with an oral appliance can result in the reduction or even cessation of snoring. This could be a great gift to your partner!
The traditional treatment for sleep apnea has been the CPAP device and
it still remains the gold standard for moderate to severe sleep apnea.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure. The patient is fitted
with a machine that pumps a continuous stream of air into the patient's
nose or mouth throughout the night. However, many people find this
uncomfortable and they stop wearing the mask.
If you have sleep apnea and can't tolerate or are frustrated with your CPAP, we can offer you an alternative treatment. Dr. Jones can custom fit you with an oral appliance. These are small acrylic devices that fit over the upper and lower teeth similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard. They gently realign your tongue and jaw to open your airway and allow more air flow to the lungs as you sleep. They are easy to place and remove, easy to clean and are convenient for travel. These devices are amazingly comfortable and have an excellent success rate for sleep apnea and snoring.