Relaxation of the muscles during sleep can allow the structures of the nose and mouth to collapse against the wall of the throat and constrict the airway. This causes Sleep Apnea and Snoring.
Some people, especially but not only older men, overweight people, and people with short necks may suffer more serious constrictions. The airway can become so blocked that the sufferer will wake up.
They may be unaware of this interrupted sleep, even though it may happen many hundreds of times a night.
- Severe snoring
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Dry, sore throat and nasal passages in the morning upon awakening
- Multiple sudden awakenings during sleep
- Impotence, and/or lack of interest in sex
- Irritability/ personality changes/ depression
- Impaired concentration, leading to poor job performance
- Impaired memory
Your physician should send you for a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea. The most commonly prescribed medical treatment for is a special machine (called a C-PAP) with a sealed nasal mask worn while sleeping. Your physician may prescribe dieting, and abstinence from tobacco and alcohol.
An alternative for some patients is a simple dental appliance, similar to an orthodontic plate, which moves the bottom jaw forward during sleep.
Dr Carole Goldsmith offers diagnosis and treatment of Sleep Apnea and Snoring. She will advise you about the most effective dental treatment for your condition, or refer patients to their physician as appropriate.