It is common for patients to request (or usually for their wives to request) that we make them an oral appliance to eliminate or reduce their snoring. Sometimes the cure is as simple as having the patient wear an oral appliance at night time that holds their lower jaw slightly forward. Many times though, the issue is much more complex than just snoring. You could have a serious, and very common condition called “sleep apnea”.
For instance, How would you answer the following questions? Do you doze off if you are sitting and reading, or watching TV? If you are a passenger in a car for longer than an hour do you fall asleep? How about after lunch if you are sitting quietly, do you get sleepy? These are just a few symptoms of sleep apnea, and if left untreated it can kill you. Recent statistics show that left untreated, sleep apnea will shorten your life by 7-8 years. the big question is has your 7-8 year clock already started ticking? Did it start 4 years ago? My job is to help determine what mode of treatment is best for you. Together with a team of experts in sleep medicine we will determine if an oral appliance will be the best method of treatment or if something else is needed. It is vital not to simply place an anti-snoring device without checking the related causes. Sometimes more complex treatment is needed such as wearing CPAP at night
Parents, listen up!. If your child has some airway obstruction such as enlarged tonsils and adenoids it could be reducing the amount of oxygen he or she is getting at night. This can result in open mouth breathing and abnormal jaw and face development. This is commonly seen in our office. These children often need orthodontics with palate expander. (Sound familiar). Obstructed airways can result in hypoxia (a deficiency in oxygen to the body) which can cause behavioral problems and affect growth and development. There are many recorded incidents where a child was a behavioral problem in the classroom, in the bottom 1/3 of the class academically and also diagnosed with having ADHD. After the airway issues were address the children behave better, advance academically and are no longer considered ADHD. Can you think of a better gift to give your child? We will check for signs of obstructed airway during the cleaning and exams and if needed refer you or your child to an appropriate specialist. If you have any questions about you or your child please bring it to our attention. We will be glad to help you.