Oral appliances for sleep disorders
Sleep Disordered Breathing/Apnea is defined as a disturbance of sleep patterns over an extended period of time. A common reason for this condition is a poorly positioned jaw and/or tongue, which can lead to snoring and a blocked airway.
The result can be a significant reduction in oxygen needed for rejuvenation, healing and a good night’s sleep. This condition is also linked to children suffering from ADD, bedwetting, learning difficulties and growth problems.
Fundamentals of Sleep Apnea:
In Greek, apnea literally means “without breath”. The more common reasons people experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are:
- A large uvula
- Deformation of the jaw/nasal cavity
- Excess weight
Symptoms Linked to Sleep Apnea:
- Snoring, gasps, choking or gurgling sound
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Waking up feeling exhausted from a normal night of sleep
- Morning headaches
- Heartburn and GERD
- Frequent episodes of obstructed breathing during sleep
- Bruxism (tooth grinding)
Long Term High Risk Disfunctions
- High blood pressure (HBP) and cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Compromised immune system
- Learning and memory problems
- Poor mental and emotional health
How does snoring indicates OSA?
Sleep Disorder Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are similar respiratory sleep disorders. Snoring noise is produced when the air you breathe vibrates the tissues of the airway due to a blockage or narrowing of the airways (nose, mouth or throat).
Snoring is often the indicator of something more serious called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when your breathing regularly stops or is slowed for 10 seconds or longer due to blocked or narrowed airways.
Airway blockage may be caused by excess tissue in the throat or nasal passages, large tonsils, large tongue and sometimes the structure of the jaw itself.
Why is OSA a serious problem?
When your breathing stops due to OSA, your brain will automatically arouse you enough to start breathing again. These constant arousals result in fragmented sleep that robs your body of the rest it needs to function properly during the day. OSA is classified in mild, moderate or severe, depending on the number of stops (apnea) or slow breathing (hypopnea) per hour.
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
- Oral Appliances
- Myofunctional therapy
- Buteyko Breathing
More about OSA can be accessed at: http://www.aadsm.org/PatientResources.aspx
More about Buteyko Breathing can be accessed at: http://www.buteykobreathing.org/ButeykoDiary.pdf
More about Myofunctional Therapy and sleep apnea can be accessed at: http://sleepdisorders.about.com/od/sleepdisorderstreatment/a/What-Is-Myofunctional-Therapy.htm