Snoring is often a sign of a breathing problem and, in some cases, can be a red flag for a more serious medical issue called obstructive sleep apnea. Yet, many people just live with their snoring, which means sleep apnea can go undiagnosed though it’s tied to a host of health problems.
Thankfully, Dr. LaVacca is a board-certified specialist, who treats sleep apnea and he can determine if you’re suffering from the disorder. If you are, we offer solutions at Naperville Dental Specialists that will help you reclaim your sleep and quality of life.
It all starts with a thorough oral evaluation. To learn more, schedule a consultation at Naperville Dental Specialists online or by calling us at (630) 848-2010.
Finally, stop snoring and get the rest you deserve. Find out how.
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About Snoring and Sleep Apnea
During sleep, the soft palate and uvula may vibrate causing the sounds of snoring. It’s not just annoying; it can also lead to complications like headaches, fatigue, decreased work performance and lack of focus or concentration for both you and your sleep partner. Additionally, snoring is a warning sign for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA is a potentially serious sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. The medical definition of apnea is a cessation of breath that lasts a minimum of 10 seconds. While asleep, the jaw, muscles and soft tissues situated around your throat, like your tongue and soft palate, relax. This results in the narrowing or closing of your airway and breathing being momentarily cut off. You awaken, usually gasping for air, sometimes without even realizing it, and then fall back asleep. The cycle can repeat itself one time per minute or more in severe cases.
OSA may result in irregular sleep patterns and decreased oxygen levels in the blood. The sleep disturbance coupled with lack of oxygen can result in serious issues, such as:
- Heart disease
- Learning and memory difficulties
- Sexual dysfunction
- Automotive accidents
What are My Sleep Apnea Treatment Options?
There are a variety of treatment options available for people with obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, which range from lifestyle changes to more invasive options:
SomnoMed® Oral Appliances
At Naperville Dental Specialists, we offer the SomnoDent® Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS), a custom appliance that can treat mild, moderate and severe sleep apnea by moving the lower jaw slightly forward. This movement tightens the soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway, which prevents obstruction while you sleep. The SomnoDent MAS also prevent the tissues of the upper airway from vibrating as air passes over them, which is the major cause of snoring. Most patients prefer an oral appliance to the more invasive alternatives.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
CPAP is a device that requires sleep apnea patients to wear a mask that is connected to a small air pressure generator. While asleep, the device continuously sends strong enough air to the throat to prevent it from collapsing. Although effective, patients who use the CPAP often find the device cumbersome and awkward.
Making changes to your lifestyle can ease or even eliminate your snoring or sleep apnea, including losing weight, refraining from alcohol and quitting smoking. Embracing these changes is a good first step before trying more serious options. We can discuss the factors that may be affecting your apnea at your consultation and help you adopt healthier habits to improve your symptoms.
Surgery should only be considered as a last resort. There is just one surgery that is currently endorsed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which is the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) procedure. It may not be successful for every patient and the long-term effectiveness is still unconfirmed. However, the UPPP has a short-term success rate of 50% in random sleep apnea patients.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
Just because you have sleep apnea doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your quality of life. Dr. LaVacca can help you decide on the best solution for your individual needs. To find out more about your Naperville sleep apnea treatment options, schedule a consultation today online or by calling us at (630) 848-2010!
Nearly 17% of Americans suffer from OSA, which is an estimated 51 million people.
People with untreated sleep apnea are four times more likely to suffer a stroke.
This risk for a car accident is six times more likely for people with OSA.