The American Sleep Apnea Association says that more and more people have disrupted sleep. In fact, a full 22 million Americans--adults and children, too--wake repeatedly as they sleep due to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. This statistic concerns your dentist, Dr. Tyler Bray; so he offers helpful snore guards in his Salt Lake City practice.
The details on sleep apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, happens when the tongue and soft palate block the airway as a person sleeps. Snoring, breathing cessation and disrupted sleep result. Along with Central Sleep Apnea, which is brain-based, OSA has been linked with systemic health problems such as diabetes, erectile dysfunction, chronic fatigue, poor memory and concentration and more.
Sleep apnea sufferers share certain characteristics. Many are males over 40. Others may have weight issues and large neck sizes. Additional contributing factors include smoking, heredity, sleeping on the back and excessive use of alcohol.
Persistent snoring requires investigation by the primary care physician and possibly a monitored sleep study by a credentialed sleep physician. With a diagnosis of sleep apnea, the patient may be advised to use CPAP, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. These bedside machines send constant airflow through a nasal/facial mask to keep the airway open. Unfortunately, some people cannot tolerate CPAP therapy.
How a snore guard can help
Dr. Bray helps sleep apnea patients with snore guards--customizable oral appliances that fit snugly against the roof of the mouth. These acrylic devices create a ramp-like surface on the tongue so the airway opens and stays open throughout the night. Also, the snore guard helps the wearer breathe through the mouth and nose simultaneously, reducing or eliminating loud snoring.
Snore guards are hygienic and easy to clean. Additionally, their biocompatible acrylic structure is durable and even prevents habitual teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism). These FDA-approved devices greatly reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea when used singly or in combination with CPAP therapy.
Sleep well and be healthier
Please call Dr. Tyler Bray in his Salt Lake City office for a consultation on sleep apnea. He'll discuss your snore guard options and how this simple, yet innovative, therapy can help you get the restful sleep you deserve. Phone us at (801) 943-9090.