Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When the tongue is causing restriction of the upper airway and causes air to stop flowing this is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It is a common disorder that can develop into more severe respiratory or cardiovascular problems if left untreated. Symptoms of OSA include loud snoring, waking up to use the restroom frequently, feeling tired or falling asleep during the day and being 30+ pounds overweight with a large neck size.
A continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP) is used to treat people with sleep apnea. A CPAP is a device that uses a mask, tubes and fan to push the tongue away from the back of the throat and allows proper air flow. It will halt all occurrences of apnea and greatly reduce snoring. An individual with a CPAP device should wear it whenever they sleep, even for short naps. While a CPAP does not cure sleep apnea it will drastically improve your sleep problems.
The Greek word "apnea" literally means "without breath." Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is very common. Left untreated people with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people with sleep apnea in order for them to resume breathing, but consequently sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.
Snoring is caused when the muscles and soft tissue in the throat and mouth relax making the breathing airway smaller. A relaxed and/or collapsed airway produces soft tissue vibrations during breathing and snoring is the result. Dr. Sulak has provided oral appliances that can greatly reduce or stop snoring for most people.
A snoring appliance is a custom fit mouthpiece that is made from plastic and is easy to clean with a toothbrush. It is designed to keep the upper and lower jaw in place when the throat relaxes during sleep. This allows the air passage to remain open while providing a quiet and relaxing sleep.