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Sleep Apnea

Can Dentists Help with Snoring?

According to studies, there are approximately 20 million people in the United States who suffer from snoring and sleep problems and who remain undiagnosed. Sleep problems lead to chronic fatigue and can have major occupational, emotional and physical harmful effects. Fortunately, there are ways to fix this and your dentist can help. If you feel tired and drowsy even after a seemingly full night of sleep, you might want to ask your partner or anyone who sees you sleep if you snore. This can help you get you help. Snoring happens when the soft issues in the back of your throat vibrate as air is forced through a small passage. Some cases of snoring correlate with obstructive sleep apnea that causes a temporary obstruction of the airway, cutting off breathing temporarily. This can be deadly.

Snoring Facts

Can Dentists Help with SnoringAccording to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine:

  • Snoring can affect almost anyone.
  • Habitual snoring has been found in an estimated 24 percent of adult women and 40 percent of adult men.
  • Both men and women are more likely to snore as they age. Men become less likely to snore after the age of 70.
  • Alcohol, drugs, muscle relaxers and tobacco products contribute to snoring for both men and women.
  • Obese or overweight people tend to snore because there is more fat tissue in the back of their throats.
  • Pregnancy can increase a woman's change of snoring.
  • An estimated 10 to 12 percent of children snore.
  • Snoring appears to run in families

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

About half of those who snore loudly have some form of sleep apnea. These two have similar causes and symptoms. When you have obstructive sleep apnea, you momentarily stop beating and when your blood oxygen levels drop low enough, your body wakes up. You may or may not be aware of this. This is why you feel tired and drowsy all the time. Snorers who from sleep may make gasping, choking or snorting sounds as they try to breathe and feel drained of energy during the day.

How Dentists Can Help With Snoring

Before a dentist can help you with your snoring, he needs to perform a diagnostic confirmation test. Dr. Reese confirms sleep apnea through HST (Home Sleep Testing) and doesn’t require you to get admitted to a hospital overnight.  A firsthand experience of a patient narrates how the home sleep study unit called Braebon Media Byte, Jr. is very easy to use and comfortable. Once Dr. Reese confirms your blood oxygen levels went below normal levels several times during your sleep, he would recommend that you be fitted for an oral snoring appliance.

How Oral Appliance Therapy Helps You with Snoring

An oral appliance is like an athletic mouth guard. It works by forcing the lower jaw down and forward slightly. This offers tremendous help in keeping the airway open preventing problems in breathing. This device is custom made as it requires fitting on your jaw. It is discreet and comfortable to use at night, allowing you to sleep as normally as possible. Most patients find it only takes a couple of weeks to get used to wearing the appliance, similar to wearing braces. This is a better alternative to surgery as it is reversible and non-invasive. These are also small and convenient.

Dr. Reese Can Help You Stop Snoring

There are different ways to help you stop snoring. Diet, exercise and elevating one’s head four inches above the bed when sleeping are just some of the methods available. However, you need to get help if you suffer from sleep apnea. Ongoing and follow-up care is an essential step in the treatment of snoring with Oral Appliance Therapy. Follow-up care assesses the progression of the treatment of your sleep disorder, the condition of your appliance, your physical response to your appliance to ensure its effectiveness. Dentists with training in oral appliance therapy like Dr. Reese are familiar with the various designs of appliances and can help determine which is best suited for your specific needs. Allow yourself to get a good night’s sleep. Set up an appointment today by calling 317-882-0228.

How My Dentist Helped Me Stop Snoring

A dental patient shares his story of how Dr. Reese helped him sleep better at night After an initial sleep study, it was determined that a snoring appliance might help me sleep better at night by snoring less. I knew I was waking up sleepy everyday, but I kept going by drinking coffee and energy drinks all day long. One day I was in Dr. Reese's office and he asked me if my wife ever complained of me snoring at night. I didn't really know why he was asking, but I answered him anyway. Not only had my wife complained, but everyone I'd ever slept in a room with since college had commented on how loud my snoring actually was.

Dr. Reese said that snoring was caused by a partially closed airway that occurs when I sleep. He said that snoring was possibly only the outside appearance of other more serious internal issues such as low oxygen which can lead to problems with digestion and can even cause a stroke. Whoa! He had my attention now. I asked him what he could do about it and Dr. Reese mentioned something called a snoring appliance. A snoring appliance is like a retainer you wear that keeps your lower jaw protruded, allowing your airway to stay open all night long. But before I could be diagnosed, I needed to have a home sleep study.

I've heard about sleep studies at hospitals where you have to go and spend the night taped up to a bunch of large machines that go beep in the night. When Dr. Reese told me I could do a sleep study in my own home I was amazed. His friendly staff showed me how to attach the home sleep study unit to my chest and how the sensors worked and attached. It was really pretty easy and didn't feel that uncomfortable at all. I took the unit home and put it on that night. I was a little nervous, but soon I was asleep - but the machine was working all night long.

The home sleep study unit is called the the Braebon Media Byte, Jr. and it records oxygen levels, chest movements, audio (like from snoring), and heart rate. The information is all recorded in that little device and then transferred to a computer for the doctor to analyze in the morning. Dr. Reese informed me that my oxygen levels dipped below normal levels several times during the night and my audio levels indicated very loud snoring. He recommended I get fitted for a snoring appliance so that's what I did.

A few days later I got the snoring appliance and Dr. Reese made sure it fit my mouth. It did and I was excited to try it out that night. The doctor mentioned it might take some getting used to or might fall out at night, but I had no problems adjusting to having it in my mouth. I had wore a retainer after getting braces when I was a child so this was no different. It never fell out of my mouth and in the morning I woke up feeling refreshed and rested. However, the biggest test was with my wife, who said she noticed a dramatic decrease in my snoring.

Thanks, Dr. Reese!