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Snoring and Sleep Apnea: A Dental Perspective


Snoring and sleep apnea are common issues that can have significant health impacts. While these conditions are often associated with general medicine, dentistry plays a crucial role in diagnosing and treating them. At Spring Valley Dental Group, we provide comprehensive care for patients suffering from snoring and sleep apnea, offering effective solutions to improve your sleep quality and overall health.


The Connection Between Dentistry and Sleep Apnea

SVDG dentists are uniquely positioned to identify and treat snoring and sleep apnea due to their expertise in the structures of the mouth, jaw, and airway. During routine dental exams, we can detect signs that may indicate a risk for sleep apnea, such as:

  • Large tonsils

  • A small jaw

  • Tongue size and position

  • Excessive throat tissue


What is Snoring?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of tissues in the throat when airflow is partially obstructed during sleep. Factors that contribute to snoring include nasal congestion, sleep position, alcohol consumption, and anatomical features such as a deviated septum or enlarged tissues in the throat.


What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions can last for several seconds and occur multiple times per hour. The most common type, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open.


Symptoms and Risks

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring

  • Episodes of stopped breathing during sleep

  • Gasping or choking during sleep

  • Morning headaches

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Irritability


Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, such as:

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart disease

  • Stroke

  • Diabetes

  • Depression

  • Increased risk of accidents due to daytime drowsiness

Dental Solutions for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Oral Appliance Therapy

One of the most effective dental treatments for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy. These custom-made devices are designed to keep the airway open by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue during sleep. Oral appliances are:

  • Comfortable and easy to wear

  • Portable and convenient for travel

  • Effective for many patients who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Support

For patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea, CPAP therapy is often recommended. While CPAP machines are not managed by dentists, we can provide complementary care by ensuring that oral health is maintained and advising on the best practices for using CPAP in conjunction with oral appliances if needed.

Surgical Interventions

In some cases, surgical treatments may be necessary to address structural issues contributing to sleep apnea. As dental professionals, we can collaborate with medical specialists to provide a comprehensive treatment plan, ensuring all aspects of your oral and overall health are considered.

Diagnosis and Treatment Process

At SVDG, we follow a thorough process to diagnose and treat snoring and sleep apnea:

  1. Initial Consultation: Discuss your symptoms, medical history, and any concerns.

  2. Examination: Conduct a detailed oral and airway examination to identify potential causes.

  3. Sleep Study Referral: If necessary, refer you for a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis and severity of sleep apnea.

  4. Custom Treatment Plan: Develop a personalized treatment plan, which may include oral appliance therapy, lifestyle changes, or collaboration with medical specialists.

  5. Follow-Up Care: Monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment.


If you or a loved one suffers from snoring or symptoms of sleep apnea, don't wait to seek help. At SVDG, we are dedicated to providing effective, comfortable solutions to improve your sleep and overall health. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards better sleep and better health.

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