Sleep apnea and snoring are common sleep disorders. While snoring is common among sleep apnea patients, the converse is not always true. Dr. Rob Strain is an experienced general and cosmetic dentist providing oral health treatments to address sleep disorders for patients in Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and surrounding locations.
Solutions for sleep apnea may be available in advanced dentistry for certain types of patients. The common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when the airflow is blocked during sleep. This usually happens when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses.
Men are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea, particularly after the age of 40. Other risk factors include obesity, large tongue, large tonsils, small jaw, family history of sleep apnea, allergies or sinus, or a nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum.
Treatments for Sleep Apnea
Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP)
This device is designed to improve breathing as a patient sleeps. It supplies air through the nasal passages and the air pressure keeps the airway open during sleep.
Certain oral devices are designed to support and shift the jaw to prevent the airway from collapsing. In case of mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliances have shown to very successful in addressing this condition.
The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine suggests that upper airway surgery may be performed when other treatment options have failed to eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea. The extent of surgery will depend on the nature and location of the airway obstruction.
Dr. Strain’s dental office receives patients from Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and nearby areas for various dental solutions, including treatments for sleep apnea and snoring.
Snoring occurs due to the vibration of the soft tissue in the neck and head as a patient breathes in. Snoring can affect the nasal passages, soft palate, base of tongue, tonsils, and uvula. Snoring is likely to worsen over time if it is left untreated. The vibrations produced in this condition may gradually damage blood vessels that supply muscles in the head and neck.
This will cause the muscles to weaken over years. As a result, the patient’s ability to keep the airway open will be adversely affected, making them more likely to snore loudly and frequently. Obesity, drinking alcohol, and use of sedatives may increase the risk of snoring.
Treatments for Snoring
The treatment provider may recommend lifestyle changes as a first step to treat snoring. These may include losing weight, avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and following a balanced diet.
In some cases, the patient’s existing medications may be contributing to the snoring problem. The physician may be able to prescribe alternatives to address the problem.
Several oral and nasal anti-snoring devices are available today, which may help to prevent snoring. The treatment provider will examine the patient’s condition in order to recommend the most appropriate devices. Nasal strips, nasal dilators, chin strips, and vestibular shields may be applied to resolve the issues of snoring where lifestyle changes do not help.
If you would like to learn more about the dental procedures and treatments performed by cosmetic dentists Dr. Rob Strain, DDS and Dr. Laura Wittenauer, DDS please call us at 760.568.9494 or click here. Serving new patients in Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert and surrounding areas.