Snoring is not unusual and happens to about half of people at some point in their lives. What is unusual is chronic snoring that disrupts your sleep and keeps your partner awake at night. Persistent snoring may be associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a serious sleep disorder that is a risk factor for health problems like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
When we sleep, the muscles in our mouth and throat naturally relax. OSA occurs when this natural action blocks off your airway so you can’t breathe. The lack of oxygen sends a message to your brain to wake up and breathe. This can happen hundreds of times a night, which leaves you feeling exhausted in the morning.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
The standard treatment for many people with sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) mask that keeps the airway open during sleep. However, many patients can’t tolerate the mask because it is too bulky, noisy, or uncomfortable.
At Berkeley Prosthodontics and General Dentistry, we offer an alternative that is a non-invasive method for addressing sleep apnea. Dr. Amy Au creates a customized oral device that is worn over your front teeth and is designed to move your jaw slightly forward when you sleep. This prevents your tongue from collapsing back against your airway, allowing you to breathe normally.
If you are concerned about chronic snoring, please call our office so we can see if you are a good candidate for this treatment.