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Is there such a thing a sleep apnea dental appliance? Have you been struggling with restless nights? Not getting a full night’s sleep? Talk to your dentist they may be able to help with a sleep apnea dental appliance. Snoring and disturbances of sleep are often a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), and your dental health could be the reason. A dentist can often be the first person to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea and give you relief with a sleep apnea dental appliance.

Can A Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance Help?

Sleep apnea is a common but potentially serious condition in which breathing stops and starts up again for periods of 10-20 seconds while you sleep (this can go on 100’s times each night). Even though sleep apnea is very treatable, it very often goes undiagnosed by medical doctors. Sleep Apnea affects approximately 18 million people in the United States alone and not even 10% ever get diagnosed properly. It is believed if sleep apnea is left untreated, it can take about 8-10 years off a person’s life span. A simple sleep apnea dental appliance can add years back to you life. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep, causing a Marielaina Perrone DDS Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance Las Vegasblockage of the airway. This in turn blocks the airflow into the lungs causing a cessation of breathing momentarily. Obstructive sleep apnea is defined as five or more episodes of apnea (temporary absence of breathing) or hypopnea (diminished depth and rate of breathing) per hour of sleep (called apnea-hypopnea index or AHI) in individuals who have excessive daytime sleepiness. Patients with 15 or more episodes of apnea or hypopnea per hour of sleep are considered to have moderate sleep apnea. If left undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea prevents you ever gaining  a restful sleep necessary for your health. The recurring pauses in breathing shocks your body out of its natural sleep rhythms over and over again. This results in you tending to spend more time in light sleep and less time in the deep, restorative sleep you need to be full of energy, mentally sharp, and productive the following day. Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose without medical help. This is because most sleep apnea symptoms occur during sleep. Help is needed so ask a bed partner or record yourself during sleep. A common misconception is that everyone who snores has sleep apnea. This is not a hard and true fact. Some recent clinical studies have also found that if you have snoring and grind your teeth than you likely have some form of apnea, so you should get checked by a medical doctor. So how do you tell the difference between common snoring and a more serious case of sleep apnea? The biggest marker is how you feel during the day. The quality of your sleep is unaffected by “normal” snoring as much as sleep apnea does. So you would be less likely to suffer from sleepiness and fatigue during the day. Obviously, we will all have some restful nights. This would be more of a long term feeling day after day.

How Can Your Dentist Help With A Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance?

An official sleep apnea diagnosis is needed and must come from a medical doctor with the possibility of a visit to a sleep center. A dentist can fabricate a sleep apnea dental appliance which are used to reposition the tongue and lower jaw forward during sleep to maintain the open airway. Usually a sleep apnea dental appliance is recommended for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea patients. A sleep apnea dental appliance can also be utilized in severe obstructive sleep apnea patients who cannot tolerate the use of a CPAP machines. The standard medical treatment right now is use of a CPAP (called a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). Approximately 25%-50% of sleep apnea patients do not regularly use or tolerate CPAP machines. Some recent clinical studies have shown the use of a sleep apnea dental appliance to be the most effective in treating snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Types Of Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance

Mandibular advancement device (also called MAD). This is the most popular sleep apnea dental appliance prescribed for obstructive sleep apnea patients. This sleep apnea dental device is very similar in appearance to an athletic mouthguard. There is a hinge between the upper and lower part of the sleep apnea dental appliance allowing the lower jaw to be eased forward. The Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) is a sleep apnea dental appliance that allows further adjustments than most. This TAP sleep apnea dental appliance gives control over the degree of lower jaw advancement for even more comfort and control of obstructive sleep apnea. –Tongue Retaining Device (TRD). Not as popular as the sleep apnea dental appliance above. This device works by holding the tongue in place which ends up keeping the airway open. Ask your dentist which sleep apnea dental appliance is right for your particular case of obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance Conclusion

The best course of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea depends on many factors. These factors include the severity of your obstructive sleep apnea, the physical anatomical structure of your upper airway, other medical issues you may have, as well as a patient’s personal preferences. Choosing the right sleep apnea dental appliance is a very personalized decision. Speak to your dentist about which sleep apnea dental appliance is right for you. There are proven scientific links between a lack of a good night’s sleep and a host of problematic symptoms including depression, memory loss, hypertension and weight gain. With the help of your dentist and a sleep apnea dental appliance, you can improve your sleep and your overall health!



Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the tongue, tonsils, or other throat tissue blocks the airway, stopping breathing. Sleep apnea is often misunderstood regarding its risks and possible treatments. Below we will sort out some of the common myths and give you the facts to better understand this misunderstood affliction.

Myth – Sleep Apnea Is Just Snoring.

This is probably the most common myth regarding sleep apnea. In many individuals sleep apnea can be the cause of snoring while sleeping. The real issue with sleep apnea is that it actually causes a person to stop breathing while sleeping up to 400-500 times a night for a duration of 10-20 seconds each time.

Myth – I Snore So I Must Have Sleep Apnea.

In the United States alone anywhere between 25-50% of the population snores at one time or another. Snoring can be caused by a cold, being overweight, or even alcohol use.

Myth – Sleep Apnea Is Not Dangerous.

If left untreated sleep apnea can be life threatening. It affects a person’s sleep as well as their daily activites. Not being fully rested can lead to accidents and injuries. It has also been shown to be linked to heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, and decreased sex drive.

Myth – Sleep Apnea Is Only For Old People.

It is true that sleep apnea is more common in people over age 40 but it can develop at any age. It is estimated that about 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. It can also affect children. The groups most at risk include people over 40 years of age, men, African Americans, Latino’s, and those with a family history.

Myth – Sleeping Pills And Alcohol Will Help You Sleep.

Many try to solve their sleep apnea problem using medications or alcohol. These methods can actually make things worse because the muscles will relax further making it far easier for the airway to become blocked.

Sleep Apnea Conclusion

There are various treatments for sleep apnea including use of  TAP III dental appliance, a CPAP machine (machine that blows a stream of air into the person’s airway in order to keep it open while sleeping), and weight loss programs. The treatment depends on the severity of the sleep apnea which can be assessed during a sleep study. Consult your dentist or physician for the best course of action if you suspect you have sleep apnea.



Diabetes can be a debilitating disease on many levels including dentally. A well managed diabetic will have better outcomes over the long term to live a healthier life. Recent studies have shown a relationship between obstrucitve sleep apnea and diabetes control.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea affects almost 25% of the population and is a characterized by repeated stops and starts in breathing during sleep. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax. When relaxed they block your airway during sleep. The most obvious sign is snoring while sleeping. Obstructive sleep apnea most commonly affects middle-aged or older adult males, smokers, and people who are overweight or obese.

Obstructive sleep apnea treatment usually involves using an oral appliance to keep your airway open or using a mouthpiece to thrust your jaw forward during sleep.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Risk Factors

-Age. As we age there is a muscular and neurological loss of muscle tone of the upper airway. This can also be caused by alcohol and sedative medications.

-Weight. The most typical individual with OSA syndrome suffers from obesity (particularly in the face and neck region). However, obesity is not always present with obstructive sleep apnea. In fact, a significant number of adults with normal body mass indices (BMIs) have decreased muscle tone causing airway collapse and sleep apnea. The cause of this is not well understood.

-Genetics. Those with a family history of Sleep Apnea are more likely to develop it themselves.

-Smoking. The chemical irritants in smoking tend to cause the soft tissue of the upper airway to become inflamed. This can result in a narrowing of the upper airway.

Diabetes and Sleep Apnea Link

The researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada found that treatment of sleep apnea led to significant improvements in glucose levels following an oral glucose challenge without affecting insulin secretion. This suggests an improvement in the sensitivity of insulin. The study followed 39 patients with sleep apnea and a prediabetes diagnosis. These 39 subjects were randomized to either recieve 2 weeks of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or a placebo pill. All patients were tested for oral glucose tolerance prior to and after treatment. This gives researchers an idea of each subject’s ability to use glucose. Following the two week study, the researchers were able to conclude that sleep apnea treatment may lower the risk for prediabetic patients. They also recommend an assessment for sleep apnea for all patients with prediabetes.

Conclusion

While further research is needed this is an important landmark piece of research. Diabetes is a disease that can be avoided for many of us. If sleep apnea goes undiagnosed it may be contributing to the diabetic condition. If properly managed, it could keep a patient out of the danger zone of a full diabetes state. While no definitive link is reported in these studies it does show there is a correlation between sleep and how our body handles glucose.