Sleep Apnea and Snoring

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects more than 24 million people in the United States. Of those affected by this condition, more than 80 percent of them are undiagnosed.

If you are snoring at night and having trouble staying awake during the day, then there is a very good chance you may have sleep apnea. You don’t want to take the symptoms for granted as they can be serious and even life-threatening.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Corona, CA

Please call Dental Care of Corona if you think you may have sleep apnea. Dr. Rakesh and Dr. Shital have helped many patients in Corona, Norco, Riverside, Lake Elsinore, and surrounding communities, and they would like to help you too.

We have provided some valuable information and answered several sleep apnea and snoring questions here, and we invite you to browse through them to find many of the answers you need or call us at (951) 898-8511.

What is sleep apnea?

Woman covering her ears because her partner is snoringSleep apnea is a disorder that is characterized by shallow breathing or one or more pauses in your breathing during sleep. A sleep apnea episode occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat falls into your airway, either fully or partially cutting off the airflow.

The pauses in breathing can last for just a few seconds up to a minute. They can occur 30 times to more than a hundred times during the night. When you have a sleep apnea episode, your brain sends your body a signal to start breathing again. This is most often followed by choking or gasping for breath. The negative effects of sleep apnea on your body are numerous.

Snoring is often the most noticeable sign of sleep apnea. Not all people that snore have sleep apnea, but most of them do.

What effect does sleep apnea have on the body?

The frequent disruptions in your sleep patterns inhibit your body’s ability to restore and heal itself so that sleep-disordered breathing can impact every part of your life. The effects of not getting enough rest are very broad in the spectrum and can contribute to a variety of health factors.

Most people with sleep apnea complain of daytime sleepiness and the inability to concentrate when at work or while doing a simple task. This can affect your memory, concentration, and even your ability to respond behind the wheel of your car. It can also cause mood swings and problems controlling your temper.

Sleep apnea will also put a strain on your cardiovascular system and lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. If it is left untreated, it can lead to several serious health problems and even death.

It can even spill over into our social life and our relationships with our spouses. Many relationships between partners have been strained due to the effects of sleep apnea.

Diagram showing how sleep apnea affects breathingThere are muscles in your throat that control the tongue and soft palate. These muscles work together to help hold your airway open while you sleep. When those muscles relax and fall back into the airway, it creates a partial obstruction that hinders the air from passing by. 

When the air tries to pass this obstruction, it causes a fluttering sound. That fluttering sound is what we call snoring. We have often laughed at and made fun of people that snored or made strange noises while they slept; however, this could be a sign of a much more serious problem called Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA.

Snoring is a very common problem. It is estimated that nearly half of all men and one-third of all women snore. If the snoring is loud and chronic, it can put a strain on your relationship with your spouse, and oftentimes it forces one of them into another room or to sleep on the couch.

What is oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea?

For several years, the CPAP has been the standard for the treatment of sleep apnea. The problem is that compliance with CPAP treatment is very low due to a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Feelings of claustrophobia (feeling of being closed-in)
  • Condensation buildup in the mask
  • Trouble sleeping with the hose
  • Noise from the machine

If a person is not able to wear their CPAP mask, it generally ends up under the bed or in a closet, and the patient’s sleep apnea goes untreated. Without treatment, unfortunately, sleep apnea can lead to a variety of health problems and even death.

This means that getting your sleep apnea treated by our Corona dentists is of the utmost importance for your health and well-being. Not wearing your CPAP mask puts you at risk for serious health consequences that could be avoided.

How does oral appliance therapy help with sleep apnea?

M.A.D. is an acronym for Mandibular Advancement Device. This is a treatment for sleep apnea that many people aren’t aware exists. This oral appliance is custom-made for you and adjusted for your particular situation. Our sleep apnea dentists in Corona refer to this as oral appliance therapy.

Here is how the device works:

The MAD is custom fit to your mouth and comes with a set of bitewings on the top and bottom of the device. The top bitewings can be adjusted forward or backward.

By advancing the bitewings forward, we can easily and comfortably advance the lower jaw forward, opening your airway, letting air pass freely, and stopping the noise we call snoring.

With this device, you can speak, drink water and move about without having to unhook hoses or pull off a mask. It really is the total freedom device.

How do I get started with oral appliance therapy?

Couple sleeping peacefullyIf you think you have sleep apnea, the first step is to have a sleep study done.

If you have had a sleep study and you were prescribed a CPAP but cannot wear it, your first step is to call our Corona dental office to set up a consultation. Once we determine that you can move forward with the device, we will take impressions and have your device made just for you.

When the device is made, you will return to our office to get it to fit perfectly. This may require more than one appointment until you are back to sleeping like a baby.

If you have sleep apnea but cannot wear the CPAP, give our office a call today. You do not want to let your sleep apnea go untreated as the health risk are just too great.