Monmouth And Ocean County’s Snoring Specialist

snoring specialist doctor monmouth county ocean nj

Putting An End To Snoring In Ocean And Monmouth County

Shore Dental Sleepcare is proud to have had thousands of successful cases in treating mild to severe snoring throughout Ocean And Monmouth County, New Jersey. Below you can find information on the definition, causes, and treatment options. In addition you can read about the importance of having positive airway pressure.

Definition and Cause of Snoring

Snoring is more than just annoying to you and/or your bed partner. It can be pathologic and a symptom of a larger and potentially dangerous condition, Obstructive Sleep Apnea. (OSA)

Snoring is caused by the close proximity of the tongue with the soft palate, especially the uvula (the “punching bag” shaped tissue hanging in the back of the mouth) and air rushing past during sleep that makes the tissues vibrate to produce the sound.
Snoring can cause sleep deprivation to snorers and those around them resulting in daytime drowsiness and many of the other symptoms of sleep apnea. There is a positive correlation between loud snoring and risk of heart attack (about +34% chance) and stroke (about +67% chance).

New studies associate loud “snoring” with the development of carotid artery atherosclerosis, the risk of brain damage and of stroke. Researchers hypothesize that loud snoring creates turbulence in carotid artery blood flow closest to the airway. Generally speaking, increased turbulence irritates blood cells and has previously been implicated as a cause of atherosclerosis.
A sleep study can identify the frequency and loudness, in decibels, of the patient’s snoring.

Snoring Treatment Options

Almost all treatments for snoring revolve around creating space between the tongue and the soft palate to create room in the airway. Snorers are advised to lose weight, stop smoking and sleep on their side (to prevent the tongue from blocking the throat). A number of other treatment options are also available, ranging from over-the-counter aids such as nasal sprays, nasal strips and “anti-snore” clothing and pillows.

Surgery can sometimes be an effective treatment. One surgical treatment is to remove the uvula, the hanging “punching bag” tissue of the soft palate. There is also a surgical technique of shaving the posterior (back) part of the tongue. These surgeries are not without complications, are often ineffective, and are very painful. Another surgical technique is Pillar Implants. This involves placing 2-4 small metal rods in the soft palate to create stiffness of the tissue to eliminate vibration that causes snoring. This has been met with limited success.

Dental Appliances

Specially made dental appliances called mandibular advancement devices (MAD’s), which advance the lower jaw slightly and thereby pull the tongue forward, are a common mode of treatment for snoring. Typically, a dentist dedicated to treating sleep apnea constructs the device. Such appliances have been proven to be effective in reducing snoring and, at the same time, treating sleep apnea. Mandibular advancement devices are often tolerated much better than CPAP machines.

The problem with over-the-counter and purchases made from Internet sites of anti-snoring devices is MAD’s positioned by the consumer, compared to the professionally fitted devices, is the difficulty in setting up the correct jaw position. An over-advanced jaw results in jaw joint pain, while an under-advanced jaw produces no therapeutic effect. The professionally fitted devices generally incorporate an adjustment mechanism so that jaw advancement can be easily increased or decreased after fitting, are kind to the teeth and will not cause harm to the tissues of the head and neck.

Positive Airway Pressure

A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is often used to control sleep apnea and the snoring associated with it. To keep the airway open, a device pumps a controlled stream of air through a flexible hose to a mask worn over the nose, mouth, or both. (Please see the section on CPAP for more detail.)

CAUTION:

Snoring can be a valuable early warning sign that sleep apnea is present. Treating it alone can remove this warning system. Many people have purchased snoring therapies on their own, from pharmacies or Internet sites. Most times these therapies do not work and can cause harm, such as TMJD (temporal mandibular joint dysfunction), shifting of the teeth, disturbance of the bite, and severe irritation of the soft tissues on the mouth.

Just as seeing smoke as a warning that a fire may be burning, hearing snoring is a warning that sleep apnea may be present. And just as smokeless fires may be discovered late, with unfortunate consequences, so too may snore-free sleep apnea. Question any healthcare practitioner that treats only snoring without ruling out sleep apnea with a diagnostic sleep study.


 

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