Sleep apnea is related to snoring, and it results from an obstructed airway that can stop your breathing over and over again when you sleep. It deprives you of both oxygen and much-needed rest and can lead to fatigue, sudden waking, gasping for breath, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Here at Murphree Dental we can treat your apnea with a simple device to open up your airway. These services are usually covered by medical insurance, helping make it easily affordable for you.
What is Sleep Apnea?
With sleep apnea, the soft tissues at the back of your throat become constricted when you sleep. Partial constriction leads to the vibrations we call snoring, but complete constriction, as shown at the left, leads to loss of oxygen and causes you to wake up. Since you immediately go back to sleep, you may not remember waking up, but this cycle can happen many times during a normal sleep period. If you have slept an appropriate amount of time but yet find yourself sleepy throughout the day, you may have sleep apnea.
Appropriate Sleep Apnea Treatments
Sometimes you can resolve your sleep apnea with changes like losing weight, avoiding sleeping medications, and not eating before you sleep. But if these don’t help, your physician may prescribe a device that will keep your lower jaw in a forward position to open your airway as shown at the left.
One of the devices used for this purpose is the Myerson device, pictured on the right. There are other similar devices available. We will take impressions of your teeth. Those impressions will be used by a laboratory to fabricate the device. The straps on the side can be adjusted until the right amount of advancement of your lower jaw is achieved. This device leaves your jaw free to move in every direction but backward.
Even if your problem doesn’t rise to the level of sleep apnea, if you sleep in a room with anyone else, they will undoubtedly appreciate your getting one of these mandibular advancement devices that will usually completely eliminate your snoring.
If you would like treatment for your snoring or sleep apnea, call our office or complete our request an appointment form. We will help you find a good time that fits your schedule.