Do you or your loved one…
- Wake up with a dry mouth or sore throat?
- Tired during the day?
- Lack a restful night’s sleep?
- Wake up with headaches and/or jaw pain?
- Have trouble concentrating or paying attention?
- Fall asleep at random times/places?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may suffer from one of many sleep-related breathing disorders and not even know it. About 90% of Americans snore and about half of them suffer from a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
OSA is one of the most common forms of sleep apnea, as it accounts for over 80% of all sleep-disordered breathing cases in the U.S. It is caused by blocked airflow during sleep that restricts oxygen to the body. This usually happens when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses while you sleep, resulting in the airway becoming blocked.
Snoring is a key symptom of sleep apnea, but it doesn’t always mean you have it. When you snore, your tongue or soft tissues in the throat block the airway. The snoring sound is made when air tries to force its way through the obstructed airway as you breathe in and out. The difference is, with OSA, the snoring is followed by pauses where you stop breathing because your airway is blocked or collapses. Some common risk factors for OSA are excess weight, large tonsils or tongue, nasal obstruction (due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems), and being over the age of 40.
Another form of OSA is central sleep apnea (CSA), which occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control and facilitate breathing during sleep. This can occur due to conditions such as brain tumors, heart failure, and stroke.
Sleep is a very important part of the body’s recovery process and overall health. If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues, such as increased blood pressure, restricted blood/oxygen to the brain, hypertension, heart attacks, diabetes, and depression, just to name a few.
How Does Dr. Mark Marion Screen for Sleep-Disordered Breathing?
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends that all dentists screen for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) as part of their routine medical history and exams. As a snorer himself, Dr. Mark Marion knows first-hand the difference wearing a snoring device at night can make. He jokingly says that it not only improved him getting a better night’s sleep but his wife, as well!
Most of our new patients tell us that they have never received such a thorough and complete dental examination as they have at our office. Besides using the latest in dental technology, such as microscope slides to determine if bacteria is present in your mouth, oral DNA to determine the exact type of bacteria present in order to prescribe an antibiotic that targets that specific bacteria, and digital charting of the gum tissue to determine gum health and recession, Dr. Mark Marion and his team utilize a digital impression scanner to assess your teeth and mouth easily and comfortably. This scanner is used to fabricate OSA.
Dr. Marion has a simple list of yes or no questions that will help determine if you are low, intermediate, or high risk for SDB. If you are at risk, he will do an oral examination to be sure you’re a candidate for oral appliance therapy. From there, he may recommend a custom sleep therapy appliance to help improve not only your sleep but also your overall health.
You may not be an ideal candidate for our custom sleep appliance if you have:
- Severe grinding
- Dentures or if you are missing both 1st and 2nd molars
- Loose teeth
- Central sleep apnea (CSA)
What Type of Custom Sleep Appliance Does Marion Smile Center Make?
EMA® (Elastic Mandibular Advancement) is an FDA-cleared oral device that treats snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is a simple, non-invasive oral device that is worn at night. This device opens the bite and gently moves the jaw forward with comfortable interchangeable elastic straps that offer different degrees to move the jaw, depending on your needs. The EMA® device is able to maintain a clear airway to improve breathing and reduce snoring, all by holding your jaw forward while you sleep.
Getting the device made is easy. It takes about 5 minutes for one of Dr. Marion’s dental assistants to scan your upper and lower teeth, along with your bite using our high-tech digital impression scanner. A custom-fitted EMA® is then made by our lab. Typically, in about 2 weeks, you will return to the office to try out your new appliance. We will show you how to care for it and answer any questions you may have.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Disorders:
- Easy to wear
- Easy to care for
Once you start treating snoring or sleep apnea and stay committed to wearing your oral appliance every night, you will feel like a new person. Your quality of life will dramatically improve with better sleep, giving you more energy and making you feel sharper during the day.
Sleep Disorder Treatment Through Oral Appliance Therapy in Zelienople, PA
If you or a loved one suffer from snoring or aren’t getting restful sleep, visit Marion Smile Center to get screened to see if a nighttime therapy appliance could benefit you! Dr. Mark Marion and his team are known for providing exceptional care and make overall health and wellbeing a priority. Treating your snoring/sleep apnea will not only help you to sleep better, but it also promotes a healthier mind, heart, and body.