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Snoring Isn't Funny!  Got Sleep Apnea? A Sleep Appliance may be the Ticket.

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, May 2, 2017 @ 10:05 AM

 

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Does your partner complain about your snoring? Or perhaps he or she worries that you may have a problem with sleep apnea. Luckily, your dentist may have the solution to either -- or both -- problems: An FDA-approved dental appliance.

Snoring

If your partner has told you in no uncertain terms that you snore, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. As many as half of all adults snore! Snoring occurs when breathing is partially obstructed in some way. Air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing them to vibrate and produce that harsh, often joked about sound known as snoring.

Snoring has many potential causes such as ...

  • having a low, thick soft palate
  • drinking alcohol at night before bed
  • nasal problems
  • sleep deprivation
  • sleep position
  • sleep apnea

Snoring isn’t Funny!

Snoring is sometimes associated with a sleep disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Not all snorers have this disorder, so don't panic! However, if your snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, a visit to your doctor is a good idea: ...

  • extreme daytime sleepiness
  • frequent or chronic morning headaches
  • morning sore throat
  • restless sleep that's not stress-related
  • nighttime gasping or choking
  • nighttime chest pain
  • snoring that's so loud it frequently wakes your partner and sometimes even wakes you

Oral Appliances

Even though you may see your doctor for a diagnosis, your dentist is actually the person who will fit you for an oral appliance to help with snoring.

An oral appliance is a form-fitting dental mouthpiece that fits over your teeth and  helps advance the position of your jaw, soft palate and tongue to keep your air passage open and unobstructed. Many times, these appliances are covered by your medical insurance or Medicare.,

Tried a CPAP machine and are unable to tolerate it?

You are not alone.  An oral sleep appliance may be a good option.  There are no masks or hoses or sounds.  Talk to your physician about this option.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   717-334-0555

Topics: snore appliance, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea

Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea Treatment

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 @ 16:03 PM

 

 Gettysburg Sleep Dentist


 

If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea you've probably been fully informed about all of the health problems untreated sleep apnea leads to. Heart disease, car crashes, high blood pressure, and even sky-high rates of divorce have all been linked to untreated sleep apnea. The gold-standard treatment for sleep apnea is the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, or any of its variants. 

CPAP is very effective for treating sleep apnea. Unfortunately, it is a very intrusive device. The mask, the tubes, the noise- many people cannot sleep at all while wearing them, which kind of defeats the purpose. Luckily, there are alternatives.

Oral Sleep Appliance

The most commonly-used alternative to CPAP is a special kind of mouth guard. These look a lot like the rubbery devices that athletes use to protect their teeth. An oral appliance used to treat CPAP has to fitted by a specially trained dentist. They work by holding the jaw slightly forward of its normal position during sleep. That slight adjustment is enough to keep the airway open during sleep for most people. 

Oral appliances are well-tolerated. There may be some minor irritation to the gums during the first few days of use. It is important to be sure the mouth guard has actually stopped the sleep apnea, though. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that patients fitted with an oral appliance undergo a sleep study to be sure. Sometimes mouth guards stop the snoring but don't actually stop the repeated episodes of breathing cessation. 

Surgery

Surgery sounds like a tempting option to treat sleep apnea. Go in and get it fixed all at once is a very American approach to health problems. Surgery for sleep apnea usually consists of trimming the palate or some of the other soft tissues in the mouth. The most commonly used procedure is called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. However, studies indicate it only works about 50% of the time and has a high rate of post-operative morbidity. Some doctors are suggesting it be abandoned as a viable approach to treating sleep apnea. 

Inspire 

This is a fairly new approach to treating sleep apnea. It is a device that is implanted in the throat and chest. It acts to monitor breathing during sleep, and when necessary, it stimulates the breathing muscles to prevent breathing cessation. Inspire therapy is indicated for patients who can't use CPAP. Results of a large study of Inspire were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and it appears to be fairly effective in treating sleep apnea.

However, because it requires surgery, it's probably a good idea to try non-invasive solutions such as weight loss and an oral appliance first. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and can't use CPAP, go talk to your dentist about non-invasive options for treating sleep apnea. 

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg Dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School

Topics: snore appliance, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea

Gettysburg Dentist Makes Sleep Apnea Appliances

Posted by Peter Samuels on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

 

 

dental sleep appliances

 

Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical condition.  A partial obstruction of the airway leads to shallow and even paused breaths throughout the night.  This, in turn, causes the patient to fall out of rejuvenating deep sleep in order to "catch his breath," even though he doesn't wake up enough to remember doing so.

The most immediate symptom of sleep apnea is chronic, unexplained  tiredness.  However, there are more serious complications to it as well, including a variety of heart conditions, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.  The body needs restful sleep.

A common solution is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which consists of a face mask that forces pressurized air through the mouth and/or nose, keeping airways open.  The result is a better, deeper, and healthier sleep.

But what can I do if I can't wear CPAP?  Maybe the air compressor is so loud it disrupts sleep even more than the apnea.  Maybe my skin keeps breaking out in rashes in reaction to the mask, or perhaps the force of air has dried out my nose and throat to the point of nosebleeds, sinus issues, and a sore throat.  And forget sleeping on my stomach!  Or maybe I've just tried a variety of masks and found that none of them work for my particular face.

One alternative is an oral appliance worn in the mouth during sleep.  It is far less invasive than a CPAP machine and is silent, which is a relief to both me and my sleeping partner!  The appliance fits like a mouth guard and subtly repositions the jaw to open up airways and keep them open, allowing a deeper, less interrupted, and more regenerative sleep.

These oral appliances need to be properly fitted by a dentist trained in their use.  This includes evaluation of exactly what type of appliance will work best for you, measurement of your mouth for proper fitting, and the creation of the appliance itself.

by Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Topics: snore appliance, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea, dental snore appliance, sleep dentist Gettysburg

Dental Sleep Appliance Treatment

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 @ 22:09 PM

 

Dental Sleep Appliance

 

 

What is it Oral Appliance Therapy?

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT), or snore appliance, is a non-surgical method of controlling snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by use of dental appliance. The device, similar to an orthodontic retainer or a mouth-guard used by athletes, is worn in the mouth while sleeping to prevent the soft tissues of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway.

Types of OAT

  1. Mandibular Advancement Appliances (MMA): This option advances the jaw forward and helps to open the airway space.
  2. Tongue-Retaining Devices (TRD): This method focuses specifically on the tongue. By simply moving the tongue forward, the airway is opened and easier breathing occurs.
  3. Palatal Lifting Appliances (PLA): By lifting the soft palate, the airway space is opened up, allowing a freer air flow, and reducing OSA and snoring.

Do you need Oral Appliance Therapy?

OAT is the first choice of patients who experience heavy snoring or mild sleep apnea according to the The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). It is also a viable and effective solution for people who experience moderate or severe sleep apnea who are not a good candidate for a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine. Further, OAT can be used in conjunction with CPAP when there are issues with nasal CPAP alone. This done by lowering the pressure, thus making it more tolerable for the patient.

Oral appliances offer a safe, highly-effective and non-invasive treatment option for the millions of Americans suffering from OSA and severe, chronic snoring. If you think you suffer from a sleep-related sleeping disorder, you should seek the help of a qualified sleep medical professional.

Drs. Samuels and Dr. Berger have helped many PA residents who sufferer from sleep-related problems like snoring and sleep apnea. If you have any questions or concerns about a condition that you may have, contact us by calling 717.778.4268, or by email [email protected] to schedule some time for an evaluation.


Topics: snore appliance, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea, dental snore appliance, Gettysburg sedation dentist

Your Lack of Sleep May Have Dental Roots Says Sleep Apnea Dentist

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 @ 16:09 PM

Gettysburg sleep dentist, sleep apnea appliance, snore appliance Gettysburg

 

Are you generally healthy and get the recommended eight hours of sleep in a
restful environment? Then why are you always tired and sleepy when you’re awake?
You may be suffering from sleep apnea and just don’t know it. A dentist trained to make sleep appliances can help.

Sleep apnea is a condition that stops your breathing temporarily while you
sleep. This stop may last a few seconds to a few minutes, and as much as 30 or
more times an hour, according to the National
Institutes of Health
. One of the most common causes of this condition is
when your jaw blocks your airway because your muscles around your airway fully
relax as you fall into a deep sleep.

So you don’t suffocate to death, your body spends time fighting this
obstruction, thus making sleep difficult. Because only a limited amount of air
passes through your airways, you start to snore, which also interrupts the sleep
of anyone in bed with you. CNN notes that
constant sleep apnea can damage the body because it does not get the required
rest. The condition can lead to such medical risks as high blood pressure,
depression, diabetes, cancer and weight gain.

One common symptom of sleep apnea is teeth grinding. You may not be aware
that you do this because it happens also while you sleep. However, as sleep apnea dentists, we can look at any roughness on the surfaces of your teeth to determine if teeth grinding is
a problem for you. We can also recommend treatment options, which may include a
visit to a medical sleep specialist to confirm our suspicions of sleep
apnea.  For mild to moderate sleep apnea a night time dental appliance can help solve the problem.  If you already have been given a CPAP machine and find it difficult to tolerate, a dental sleep appliance may be the answer.  Even if you simply snore, a simple dental appliance you wear at night can help.

Topics: snore appliance, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea

Gettysburg Dentist Sleep Apnea and Snoring Appliance Therapy

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 15:01 PM

snore appliance, sleep apnea appliance, sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea

 

Try to deny it, but everyone in the household knows if you snore or even, maybe, have sleep apnea. Just ask. Gentle snoring is irritating enough, but some snorers boom so loudly, the spouse retreats to another room for shut-eye. A trained sleep dentist or sleep apnea dentist may be the person to call!

 

About 40% of adults, mostly men snore. During sleep, throat muscles relax and narrow the airway, especially if the snorer carries a bit of extra weight. Excess tissue vibrates with every breath, and anyone within earshot awakens.

 

Devices invented to stop snoring:

A masks that strap directly over the mouth to muffle snores; snoreballs, a

tennis ball sewn into the pocket of a T-shirt worn backwards (to turn the snorer over); snore alarms; respirators or CPAP machines; and, finally,  a snore guard or snore appliance or dental sleep apnea appliance. This kind of dental appliance, something like an athletic mouthguard, keeps air passages open during sleep. It’s simple and it works. Find snore guards or dental sleep apnea appliances at a trained, sleep apnea dentist.

 

 Getting a better night’s sleep

 

Meanwhile, snoring and sleep apnea research goes on. Studies at the University of Pennsylvania focus on English bulldogs, whose facial structure makes them prone to snoring. Some medications may be helpful. You could sleep in the garage. You’re getting sleepy...

                                     

One of the most elusive comforts of life is a simple good night’s sleep. Especially as we get a little older and our sleep requirements change, a night of tossing and turning or frequent awakening can change how you greet the next morning. Sometimes the damage goes beyond grumpiness to distraction, lapse of memory, or even physical lethargy.

 

The American Medical Association maps a common sense plan for fine-tuning your personal biological clock when getting to sleep becomes a chore. The goal: sleep deep when you do, and awake clear-eyed and alert.

 

 And sweet dreams

 

• Figure how much sleep you need by following a set schedule for about a month. Add or subtract 30 minutes, and assess how you feel.

• Stick to your new schedule, even on weekends. If you nap, do so at the same time every day. If you go to sleep late, get up at your regular time anyway.

• Exercise in the afternoon, if you can, rather than in the morning.

• No coffee, tea or cola late in the afternoon and beyond. Get enough sodium. Don’t go to sleep too hungry or too full.

• The bedroom is for sleeping and such, not for TV. A dark, quiet, secure place is best—just cool enough.

• Set the alcohol and sleeping pills aside.

• Don’t worry. Keep a notepad on the night table and write down what’s bothering you before you settle in.

 

 There’s snoring and then there’s snoring

 

A simple yes to any of these symptoms could indicate you’re on your way to the dark side of snoring: sleep apnea, or obstruction of the airways during sleep. Lack of air isn’t something you should—or can—live with. Ask us to have a look, and we’ll discuss the extent of your symptoms.

 

What's your snoring or sleep apnea score?

■ Does your snoring bother your partner, wake you during the night, or send the dog howling?

■ Do you walk around in a stupor when morning comes?

■ Daytime, are you on the verge of falling asleep, or cranky and unable to concentrate?

■ Are you substantially overweight?

■ Do you awake and gasp for breath? No? Ask your partner.

 If you or someone you know snores or may have sleep apnea I encourage you to contact us for help.  Dr. Samuels is is a Gettysburg dentist trained in the fitting of snore appliances and can work with your physician, if necessary to help treat sleep apnea. Often this treatment is covered by medical insurance.  Many people have difficulty tolerating CPAP machines and do much better with a dental sleep appliance.

Start with a snore guard dental appliance. Your family could likely use the zzzzzzs.

Topics: snore appliance, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea, dental snore appliance

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