Snoring is a problem that effects 40% of adults by the age of 40. It is conservatively estimated that 45 million people in the United States snore every night. Snoring can cause disrupted sleep for both snorers and their sleeping partners and it can lead to health problems.
Snoring is the harsh sound of partially obstructed breathing during sleep and occurs when the back of the roof of the mouth vibrates against the the soft tissue structures of the upper airway in the back of the throat as air moves through them. During sleep, those tissues, the tongue and the muscles that line the airway all relax. When this occurs, the airway narrows. As air passes through the narrower airway, the tissues vibrate against each other and create the snoring sound that can grow louder during sleep. Large tonsils, a long soft palate, large tongue, large uvula, excess fat deposits, or a small retruded lower jaw all contribute to airway narrowing and snoring. Snoring may also be an indication of a more serious health problem-Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
While snoring can be a nuisance, it can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in which the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat and completely block the airway. The blockage can occur hundreds of times a night and typically lasts between 10-30 seconds or longer, resulting in abrupt breathing disruptions and reduced blood oxygen levels. The brain alerts the body to its lack of oxygen and blood chemistry changes, causing a brief arousal from sleep that resumes normal breathing. Most people with OSA snore loudly and frequently, with periods of silence when airflow is reduced or blocked. They then make choking, snorting, or gasping sounds when the airway re-opens. The result is a fragmented quality of sleep that often leads to excessive daytime sleepiness and increased risks of driving or work-related accidents. Untreated OSA will increase your risks of heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, acid reflux, diabetes, memory loss, impaired concentration, depression, obesity, decreased sex drive, etc.
As your dentist, Dr. Nguyen can recognize any airway anatomic abnormalities and has additional training in Dental Sleep Medicine to evaluate and treat you for sleep apnea. Dr. Nguyen is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
The SomnoDent (COAT) works by gently holding your jaw forward during sleep. This improves the patency of the airway reducing snoring and sleep apneas. It is a comfortable two-piece “mouthguard” that can be adjusted to bring your jaw further forward if needed, and it is fitted by a dentist trained in sleep medicine. There is an increasing body of evidence to show that the SomnoMed COAT is effective because of the high level of patient comfort. Patients wear their SomnoDent on average 7.5 hours per night. While average nightly usage of CPAP in a recent study was 3.3 hours per night.
Please click the following links to fill out Sleep Apnea screening forms: OSA screening form
Please click here for more information about sleep apnea: Patient Newsletter
Upland, CA Nightlase
Dr. Dat Nguyen is the first dentist in California certified to perform Nightlase procedure. Please call us for more information or to schedule an appointment.
What causes snoring?
Snoring occurs when air is not able to move freely through your nose and mouth during sleep. This is due to a narrowing of your airway, which caused the tissues to vibrate and make an audible sound in extreme cases the airway can become blocked which is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Many factors can contribute to snoring such as age, nasal and sinus problems, being overweight, alcohol, smoking, medications, and sleep posture.
What is the impact of snoring?
Snoring has a number of consequences that can impact the life of a snorer and his/her sleep partner. Sleep deprivation as a result of snoring has a negative impact on health and quality of life. Snorers can experience tiredness, morning headaches, irritability, dry mouth, and relationship difficulties. Studies have also shown a link between snoring and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke*.
What are the treatment options?
Most treatments for snoring attempt to keep the breathing passage open. Specially made dental appliances can e effective, but reply on daily compliance. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) systems are often used to help control sleep apnea and the snoring associated with it, however, these devices can be very uncomfortable. There are surgical options available for correcting snoring which usually involves removal of tissue from the uvula and pharynx but these surgeries are invasive and can result in a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery period following the surgery.
What is NightLase®?
NightLase is a leading-edge laser procedure for the treatment of snoring, it is a NON-invasive, NO appliances, simple and an effective way of reducing or eliminating snoring.
How NightLase® Works
Laser energy is used to heat the tissues of the airway causing a tightening effect which helps to keep your airway open. NightLaseTM is performed with approximately three short treatments spaced over two months. Each treatment lasts 15 minutes and requires no anesthesia. The procedure is comfortable and you can resume your daily routine immediately afterwards. Results are often seen after the first session.