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NightLase® Therapy for Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment

Beverly Hills Dentistry 9 Blog 9 NightLase® Therapy for Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment

If you are aware that you snore frequently, especially when you are on your back, either because your partner complains or the sound causes you to partially awaken, it is important that you have the cause diagnosed.

Occasional snoring is normal, even if you tend to sleep on your side. Over 80 million Americans regularly snore.

But frequent, loud snoring could be a sign of a serious disorder, sleep apnea, from which at least 12 million suffer. An apnea is a short pause in breathing when you sleep and can occur up to 100 times per hour. Yet this does not fully wake up the individual, so most who have sleep apnea have no idea this is even happening. At most, the afflicted will decide they should get up and urinate a lot, further disturbing their sound sleep.

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is extreme tiredness, since deep sleep for an extended period is impossible. This can have serious consequences, such as falling asleep while driving to work. At the office, those who have this may find it hard to stay awake at their desk or even during meetings, as well as experiencing poor ability to concentrate and remember things.

There are many other signs that could be indicators: morning migraines or headaches throughout the day; a dry mouth, sore throat, or a feeling of having cotton in the mouth due to breathing through the mouth to get more oxygen during the night; and feeling depressed,  anxious, or irritable without other obvious causes.

More seriously, sleep apnea can significantly raises the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even Alzheimer’s.

 There are two types of this disorder. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) is a relatively rare brain disorder that sends an incorrect signal from the brain to the lungs about breathing when you sleep, and we can refer you to a physician to have it treated with a prescription medication.

The other, Obstructive Sleep Disorder (OSA), refers to a large tongue, tonsils, or soft tissue that block the airway when sleeping. The standard medical therapy is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, which requires wearing a mask connected to an oxygen source while lying on your back all night. Many find this uncomfortable and studies show that they do not use it consistently or just give up.

Fortunately, if a CPAP device is too uncomfortable to use, Beverly Hills Dentistry can offer two alternatives. One is an oral appliance similar to a nightguard, which those who grind their teeth during sleep wear at night to prevent damage to their teeth. Known as a Mandibular Advancement Device it is custom-made to keep the airway open.

The other approach is to use a series of oral appliances known as the Vivos system, similar to wearing Invisalign orthodontic retainers, which over a period of 18-24 months broaden the airway. Those who have undergone this treatment have noticed an improvement in breathing within a few weeks and once it is done, the sleep apnea is gone. 

Call us today to set an appointment to discuss with Dr. Goodman whether your snoring might be a sign of sleep apnea and to explore your best options.

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