Dental Sleep Medicine
The following symptoms can indicate the presence of sleep apnea:
• Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
• Loud snoring at night
• Waking up at night short of breath
• Snorting or choking sounds during the night
• Headaches upon waking in the morning
• Falling asleep unintentionally during the day
• Extreme drowsiness throughout the day
There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws and push them forward slightly. This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again. Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep. Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight. They offer a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).
Snoring can be the result of several factors. Typically, snoring is caused by the relaxing of the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth, making the airway passage smaller. The decrease in space through the airway makes it harder for each breath to get through, and when it does get through, the airway passage it moves over in the soft tissues of the mouth and throat causes a vibration that results in the snoring sound.
If you snore at night, then a mandibular advancement device (MAD) may represent a solution and a better night’s sleep! The MAD is a specially designed dental device that gently helps keep the lower jaw, or mandible, in a forward position, increasing the space between the airway passage and helping you breathe better so you can get a full, quiet night’s sleep.
Some devices also stop the tongue from falling back over your windpipe. Dr. Renger will fit these special appliances to meet your individual condition.