Sometimes, snoring is nothing more than a mild annoyance. Unfortunately, in other cases, loud snoring is a sign of a potentially dangerous disorder known as sleep apnea.
A person with sleep apnea suffers from short and sudden periods of non-breathing while they are asleep. To force you to take a breath, your brain wakes you up into a subconscious state. This cycle of non-breathing, waking, and falling back asleep can occur hundreds of times a night.
This cycle doesn't just produce snores – it could indicate that you or someone you love is at risk for serious health issues. It is extremely important to visit The Office of Dr. Bellisario to discuss sleep apnea treatment options. Call our Ardmore dental office at (610) 810-2090 today.
Understanding Airway Obstruction
The sound of snoring is caused by something blocking the flow of air from your nose to your trachea (wind pipe). This blockage causes the tissue of your upper airway to collapse.
When this collapse is only partial (i.e. a portion of your airway is still open), it causes harmless snoring. However, when this collapse is complete, your breathing will become abnormally shallow and slow. If your breathing stops altogether for 10 seconds or more, you have sleep apnea.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, your body is not receiving enough oxygen and is unable to expel carbon dioxide quickly enough. This can lead to a host of long-term health problems, including cardiovascular disease and a heightened risk of stroke.
Treatment for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Many people who suffer from sleep apnea are given a device called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to treat their condition. However, CPAP requires placing a mask over your face while you sleep. Some patients find this so uncomfortable they are unable to fall asleep at all, thus defeating the purpose of treatment.
At The Office of Dr. Bellisario, we offer two different appliances that can more comfortably treat snoring and sleep apnea:
- Snore Guard® – A small intra-oral (in the mouth) device that prevents your jaw and tongue from dropping back in your throat, keeping your airway open and significantly reducing snoring. The device is custom-fitted to your bite, fitting snugly over your top teeth and keeping your lower jaw in a comfortable position.
- Tap® 3 Elite – This device is FDA-approved for treating varying degrees of sleep apnea, including severe sleep apnea. Like the Snore Guard, it is custom-fitted to your unique bite. Research shows the Tap® 3 Elite is the most successful treatment currently available for obstructive sleep apnea.
If you are looking for a way to reduce snoring or need a sleep apnea treatment alternative to CPAP, please call (610) 810-2090 or contact The Office of Dr. Bellisario online today to schedule your sleep apnea consultation. We welcome patients from Ardmore, Havertown, Bryn Mawr, Bala Cynwyd, Newtown Square, and the rest of the Main Line area of Pennsylvania.