Snoring and sleep apnea
There was a time when it was believed that snorers were associated with good sleep.Today we know it is a sleeping disease that does not affect one's health by itself, while it is not accompanied by apneas or hypopneas, but affects people who live with snorers and not just the partner, but also other tenants that are trying to sleep near his/her room.
Over 50% of men of more than 50 years old and over 40% of postmenopausal women snore , so it is a problem for companions. But beware, if snoring is accompanied by apnea or hypopnea, this can itself be hazardous to one's health, and statistics say that between 5 and 10% of the population have sleep apnea.
What's sleep apnea?
Apneas consist of respiratory arrests that can range from about 8 seconds to 90 seconds, followed by a more powerful and chiming snoring. Therefore there are pure snorers and snorers who also make apneas or hypopneas.
It is important to recognize patients with OSAS (Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome) since they are unaware of the problem. A snorer, which has more or less frequent respiratory arrests and who is sleepy during the day, must put us under alert to a possible OSAS. Clearly, the first signs have to be commented with the person you live with. OSAS is important to detect, because during these breathing pauses the concentration of oxygen in blood decreases, with all that means for the overall long-term health: hypertension, cardiovascular problems, traffic accidents, daytime sleepiness, poor concentration at work, depression etc.
Sleep apnea treatment
Since this is a very common problem, sleeping units are usually collapsed, dentists especially, can develop a fundamental role in the diagnosis and filter the sickest patients.The severity of OSAS depends on the number of apneas per hour. If there are over 30, it is advisable to refer the patient to a sleep unit, but in milder cases they can be treated in your dentist.
It is obvious that we need to make a diagnosis as accurate as possible. We currently have relatively simple devices as the "APNIA" with which the patient in a simple manner can measure at home, among others, oxygen saturation, the number of apneas etc. The data can be collected in a computer program and can assess the severity of symptoms.
Most cases can be solved in our dental office with a mandibular advancement device. It is a device that is placed between the teeth and makes the jaw to be positioned forward in relation to the upper jaw, causing the upper airway to bemore open and air can circulate freely. These modern splints are very thin thus tolerated very well and can be regulated in terms of needs.
This treatment usually has very good results for snorers and mild OSAS. In more severe cases, surgery for mandibular advancement or uvula and soft palate plasty may be needed. In Pardiñas Clinic we have the latest technology for snorers.