Snoring & Oral Sleep Appliances (OSA Services)

Dr. Jarwa has been treating hundreds of patients in our community with oral sleep appliances, helping them sleep better and be healthier.

Sleep apnea prevention

There are three different kinds of sleep apnea: obstructive, central and mixed; of these, the most common form is obstructive.

When you breathe normally, air passes through the nose and past the flexible structures, such as the soft palate, uvula and tongue, in the back of your throat. When you are awake, your muscles hold this airway open. When you are asleep, these muscles relax and the airway usually stays open. However, in the case of obstructive sleep apnea the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat, blocking both the upper airway and airflow. This causes the oxygen levels in both the brain and the blood to lower. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is often seen in people with cardiovascular problems and excessive daytime sleepiness. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, memory problems, weight gain, impotency and headaches. If left untreated, it may be responsible for motor vehicle crashes and job impairment. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and effectively treated. There are several treatment options now available and research into other treatment methods continues.

Treatment Options

There are several ways to treat sleep apnea. The most common method is with a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machine. Using a tube and a mask that covers the nose, the pressure generated by the CPAP splints the structures in the back of the throat, holding the airway open during sleep. Another option is surgery. By repositioning the anatomic structure of your mouth and facial bones, surgeons are able to eliminate the tissue that collapses during sleep.

Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, dentists with training in oral appliance therapy can determine which appliance is best suited for your specific dental and medical condition. Working in coordination with your physician, Dr. Jarwa will participate in your diagnosis, treatment and on-going care. Follow-up care with Dr. Warren, in order to evaluate the response of your teeth and jaws, will ensure a successful treatment.

Oral Appliances (Thornton Adjustable Positioner TAP, or Elastic Mandibular Advancement EMA)

With over 40 different types of oral appliances available to specially-trained dentists, there are essentially two different categories that they can be classified: tongue retaining appliances and mandibular repositioning appliances. The advantages of oral appliances over other forms of therapy are as follows:

-Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear. It does take a few weeks, however, to become used to wearing the device.
-Oral appliances are small and convenient. You can take them with you when you travel
-Oral appliances are non-invasive therapy.

Snoring Prevention

While snoring is a common problem for many people, it can also be a major sign of other complications that can affect your health. It is estimated that more than 80 million people in North America snore while sleeping, which not only affects the quality of sleep that the snoring person gets, but also their loved ones, such as spouses, children, and other family members. Luckily, there is a way to treat chronic snoring.

What causes snoring?

Snoring can be the result of several factors. Typically, snoring is caused by the relaxing of the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth, making the airway passage smaller. The decrease in space through the airway makes it harder for each breath to get through, and when it does get through the airway passage, it moves over the soft tissues in the mouth and throat causing a vibration, which results in the snoring sound. Other causes of snoring may include:

-Excess body weight
-Alcohol consumption
-Certain sleep aides or sedatives
-Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Oral Appliances (Thornton Adjustable Positioner TAP, or Elastic mandibular advancement EMA)

If you snore at night, then a mandibular advancement device (MAD) may represent a solution and a better night’s sleep! The MAD is a specially-designed dental device to be worn at night as it gently helps keep the lower jaw, or mandible, in a forward position, increasing the space between the airway passage, helping you breathe better and get a full, quiet night’s sleep.

MADs are usually small plastic devices worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. They do this by bringing your lower jaw forward and/or by lifting your soft palate. Some devices also stop the tongue from falling back over your windpipe. Your dentist will fit these special appliances to meet your individual condition