An estimated 80 million people in North America snore. Taking into account the snorer's spouse and children, as many as 160 million people are negatively affected by snoring. Snoring not only interrupts your sleep cycle, it can also be a symptom of a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open. When the muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in. You can't get enough air, which can lower the oxygen level in your blood. Your brain senses your inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don't remember it. This pattern repeats itself throughout the night, impairing your ability to reach the deep, restful phases of sleep.
At Pittsford Family Dental, we fabricate oral appliances that keep the airway open by holding the lower jaw forward. These appliances are covered by most insurance plans if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
If you snore, and are concerned you may have sleep apnea, the first step is a consultation with a Sleep Specialist. They can perform tests such as a home sleep study to diagnose your condition and recommend treatment. If an oral appliance is indicated for treatment, they will give you a referral for us to fabricate one for you.
Untreated Sleep Apnea May Leave You At Risk For:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic acid reflux
- Severe, untreated sleep apnea even increases your risk of death
For more information about sleep apnea treatment, please contact our office.