Snoring and sleep apnea can keep you awake at night and prevent you from getting the restful sleep you deserve. But since Ridgewood Dentistry understands the importance of quality sleep, Dr. Warren Boardman and the team will stop at nothing until you can sleep soundly again. Our office offers customized anti-snoring mouthguards to keep snoring and sleep apnea at bay. When worn every day at night, oral devices are effective and safe and often result in restful, uninterrupted sleep.
Snoring occurs as the air vibrates past the soft tissues in the upper airway. The common causes of snoring include nasal congestion, alcohol intake, poor sleeping position, and anatomical factors, such as a deviated septum.
Snoring can be a nuisance, especially to your bed partner. Unfortunately, sometimes, it can be a symptom of a severe sleep disorder: sleep apnea. While several types of sleep apnea exist, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most prevalent, affecting over 80% of sleep apnea sufferers.
OSA occurs when soft tissues in the throat relax as you sleep, blocking your airway. The pause in breathing occurs for a scary 10-20 seconds! And as if that isn’t enough, these episodes may happen up to a hundred times over an eight-hour stretch. Repeated awakenings (even though they occur subconsciously) disrupt your sleep, rest, and health in the long run.
Chronic and raucous snoring is usually the tell-tale symptom of OSA. However, snoring doesn’t always mean you have OSA. Similarly, you may have OSA, and snoring may not be a symptom. The only way to diagnose OSA is by consulting a sleep apnea specialist.
Besides snoring, the other symptoms of OSA include:
Besides the symptoms above, untreated sleep apnea can have grave health complications. Scientific studies have linked chronic sleep apnea to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and depression.
When you go to a medical doctor with OSA, they will likely recommend a CPAP. This electricity-operated device delivers a steady airflow in your airway through a mask placed over your nose, mouth, or both. As you’d expect, a CPAP can be uncomfortable and challenging to keep in position when sleeping.
Can’t tolerate a CPAP? There is yet another treatment — it’s comfortable and easy to use. Dr. Boardman offers a personalized nightguard to depress your tongue and move the lower jaw to a forward position. An oral splint keeps the airway open as you sleep, resulting in quality sleep and optimal health.
Pro-tip: Many patients may be tempted to buy generic mouthguards because of their low price and convenience. These store-bought mouthguards claim to treat snoring and OSA, but they are ineffective and uncomfortable. We advise you to consider a custom-fitted oral device crafted using your mouth impressions. Bespoke nightguards fit snugly in your mouth, allowing better breathing during sleep.