Fortunately, this is a condition that can be treated. It is first recommended that you work with your physician, who may refer you to a sleep specialist. They will do a detailed sleep study to determine the severity of the snoring and/or sleep apnea. Treatments may then be prescribed, including: losing weight, having surgery to open the passage, wearing a positive airflow mask to keep the airway open (commonly known as a CPAP), or using a mandibular advancement device to move the lower jaw forward, preventing the collapsing of the airway.
This last treatment is where your dentist can help you. There are several different types of appliances that can keep the lower jaw forward. Two of the most common types are an EMA (Elastic Mandibular Advancement) or Silent Nite. These consist of rigid plastic trays that fit on the upper and lower arch with either elastic bands or plastic struts connecting the two. Both types pull the lower jaw forward using the upper arch as an anchor. If the patient has a bruxing or clenching problem sometimes a more rigid appliance may be needed like a TAP 3 Elite.
All of these can be seen at these links below:
Thousands of patients have benefited from these devices with improved sleep, healthier hearts, and happier relationships!
Let us know if we can help you!
- from Dr. Clause