Glen A. Monson, DDS - 17798 147th St. SE, Monroe, WA 98272 (360) 805-0211


Serving the Monroe, WA area

 

"Thank you for helping my husband with his sleep apnea and snoring. The device (mandibular repositioning appliance) has made a tremendous difference in the quality of sleep he is getting. He is now able to sleep on his back, and is much less restless at night. Now we are BOTH getting a good night's rest!"  B.G.

Sleep Apnea Treatments, Snoring RemediesWhat can I do about Snoring?
If you feel your snoring is a problem, discuss it with your dentist or doctor. You may be a suitable candidate for a sleep appliance (oral airway dilator), which is one of the most efficient and effective methods for treating primary snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

How does a sleep appliance work?
A sleep appliance is fitted by your dentist and works by moving your lower jaw and tongue forward, thereby creating more space for you to properly breathe during the night. This reduces or eliminates snoring. However, you must be aware that snoring can indicate a more serious problem called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

How does snoring indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is often a precursor to something more serious called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Snoring and OSA are similar respiratory sleep disorders.

  • Snoring occurs when the air you breathe vibrates the tissues of the airway due to a blocked or narrowed airways (nose, mouth or throat).
  • OSA occurs when your breathing regularly stops or is slowed for 10 seconds or longer due to blocked or narrowed airways (nose, mouth or throat).


Airway blockage may be caused by excess tissue in the throat or nasal passages, large tonsils, a large tongue and sometimes the structure of the jaw itself.

Why is Obstructive Sleep Apnea a serious problem?
Your body is being robbed of the rest it needs to function properly during the day when you are constantly awoken throughout the night.

OSA symptoms include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Feeling exhausted after a normal night of sleep
  • Headaches
  • Depression


Symptoms that your bed partner is likely aware of:

  • Frequent episodes of obstructed breathing during sleep
  • Snoring, gasps, choking or gurgling sound
  • Bruxism (tooth grinding)

Long term symptoms:

  • Increased risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Compromised immune system
  • Irritability
  • Learning and memory problems
  • Poor mental and emotional health


OSA is classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the number of apnea events (cessation of breath) or slow breathing (hypopnea) per hour.

How do you test for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is tested by performing a sleep study, either in the comfort of your home or in a sleep lab, where a medical recording device is used to record the involuntary body functions that occur during sleep.

For Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a sleep study needs to record the following:

  • Airflow and respiratory effort
  • Blood oxygen
  • Body position
  • Snoring


Do I have to sleep in a laboratory to be tested?
Not necessarily. You may be eligible for a home sleep study.  A home sleep study is similar to a typical laboratory sleep study except that it is performed in the comfort of your own home using a small portable-monitoring device that you wear while you sleep.

 

Examples of oral appliances for sleep apnea and snoring.

Treatment Options:
In addition to lifestyle changes such as good sleep hygiene, exercise and weight loss, there are three primary ways to treat snoring and OSA:

  1. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure),
  2. Surgery.
  3. Oral Appliance Therapy.


Sleep appliances are indicated for:
• Patients with primary snoring or mild to moderate OSA who do not respond to behavioral measures such as weight loss or sleep position change.
• Patients with moderate to severe OSA who are intolerant of or refuse treatment with nasal CPAP.
• Oral appliances are also indicated for patients who refuse treatment or are not candidates for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, craniofacial operations or tracheotomy.

Take this simple test to see if you're at risk for Sleep Apnea.

1. Do you snore?
a.) Yes
b.) No
c.) Don't know

2. How loud is your snoring?
a.) Breathing
b.) Talking
c.) Louder than talking
d.) Very loud - can be heard in adjacent room

3. How often do you snore?
a.) Nearly every day
b.) 3-4 /wk
c.) 1-2/wk
d.) 1-2 times/mo
e.) Almost Never

4. Has your snoring ever bothered others?
a.) Yes
b.) No
c.) Don't know

5. Do you stop breathing during sleep?
a.) Nearly every day
b.) 3-4 /wk
c.) 1-2/wk
d.) 1-2 times/mo
e.) Almost Never

6. How often do you feel tired after sleep?
a.) Nearly every day
b.) 3-4 /wk
c.) 1-2/wk
d.) 1-2 times/mo
e.) Almost Never

7. While awake, do you feel tired?
a.) Nearly every day
b.) 3-4 /wk
c.) 1-2/wk
d.) 1-2 times/mo
e.) Almost Never

8. Have you ever fallen asleep while driving?
a.) Yes
b.) No

9. If yes, How often does this occur?
a.) Nearly every day
b.) 3-4 /wk
c.) 1-2/wk
d.) 1-2 times/mo
e.) Almost Never

10. Do you have high blood pressure?
a.) Yes
b.) No
c.) Don't know


Scoring

Score one point for each of the following:

1.) a

2.) c or d

3.) a or b

4.) a

Score two points for the following:

5.) a or b

Score one point for each of the following:

6.) a or b

7.) a or b

8.) a

9.) note only

Score two points for the following:

10.) a or BMI>30 (Body Mass Index)

Bring these results to your next dental appointment. Your doctor can prescribe you a sleep appliance which can help you and your bed partner get restful sleep - without snoring.

High Risk:
2+ sections with TWO or MORE points

Low Risk:
0-1 sections with two or more points

For more information on Sleep Apnea Treatments or Snoring Devices in the Monroe, WA area call Glen A. Monson, DDS at (360) 805-0211!