Grande Prairie Dentistry Expert Dr. Jeff Falk

Are you waking up in the night or are you being elbowed in the ribs from your partner next to you for snoring too loud? If you live alone, you may not be aware that you snore. Snoring is often a result of the partial obstruction of the airway during sleep. Air moves through the airway and causes the tongue and throat tissue to vibrate. Sleep apnea is commonly associated with snoring. One of the most common causes of sleep apnea is excessive weight gain. Being overweight and over the age of 40 make you more likely to develop sleep apnea, but anyone can suffer from this sleep disorder. In more severe forms of sleep apnea, the airway is completely blocked, sometimes for several minutes. People who experience sleep apnea have a death rate that is three times higher than those without this sleep disorder.

The most common form of sleep apnea develops when the tongue or loose tissue in the throat blocks the airway during sleep. People with sleep apnea often do not get restful sleep at night because the disruptions in their breathing wake them up. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you may wake up several times an hour and not realize it. Poor sleep is associated with lack of concentration, daytime drowsiness, vision problems, or even headaches in the morning.

The health consequences of prolonged sleep apnea can be more serious than this. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to: irregular heartbeat, type II diabetes, stroke, or High Blood Pressure. The lack of restorative sleep puts people suffering from sleep apnea at greater risk of driving accidents and injury or death from other types of accidents at work or home.

One means of treating sleep apnea is to prevent the airway from becoming obstructed during sleep. People with large tonsils or small airways are especially affected by this. As you age, the muscle tone inside your mouth and throat diminishes allowing the throat lining to become loose. Excessive weight may also add folds of tissue that can obstruct the airway. A mandibular advancement device (MAD) is an appliance made of soft plastic and custom fit to your teeth. Your teeth anchor the device which uses leverage to hold your jaw forward. With your jaw in its natural forward position, your tongue is unable to fall to the back of your mouth and there is more room in your airway to accommodate excess tissue and airflow at the same time.

A MAD is comfortable enough to wear all night and may end your snoring and improve the quality of your sleep. A MAD may also reduce your health risks associated with sleep apnea.

If you or someone you love snores at night, contact Gateway Dentistry Group today for a consultation. It will benefit you and those who stay awake listening to you snore. It could be the relief you and your whole family are looking for!

201 – 11002 – 104 Ave, Grande Prairie, AB.

780-539-3555 www.GatewayDentistryGroup.ca