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Sleep Apnea & Snoring Relief

Overview

Snoring and sleep apnea are common, but they are not the same condition. Snoring is simply the sound that occurs when soft tissues in the mouth and throat vibrate as a person breathes. Sleep apnea involves complete airway blockage for periods of ten seconds or longer, repeatedly during a sleep session. While snoring is not dangerous, sleep apnea increases a person’s risk for stroke, heart attack, daytime fatigue, irritability, and other issues.

Logistics

Sleep apnea should be diagnosed by a sleep lab, and the dentist can recommend a reputable facility. Traditionally, a CPAP appliance (continuous positive airway pressure) is the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment. However, many patients do not respond well to CPAP because of a poor fit, claustrophobia, or discomfort. For these patients, and others, a sleep guard may be indicated. The dentist can create a custom sleep guard to hold the lower jaw slightly forward, which prevents soft tissues from blocking airflow. Many patients find relief from this non-invasive, conservative solution.
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