Snore Guards and Sleep Apnea Appliances
It may surprise you to know that at least one-third of the U.S. population snore – that’s over 100 million people. Snoring, aside from its disruption of your sleep and that of your family members, can lead to serious health problems. Snoring occurs when the muscles and soft tissues of the throat and mouth relax during sleep, reducing the size of the airway. The decrease in airway space increases the velocity of air flowing through the airway with each breath, causing the soft tissues inside the mouth and throat to vibrate. The struggle for breath which produces a snore can raise blood pressure and may damage the walls of the carotid arteries and increase the risk of stroke. When the oral soft tissues and tongue completely obstruct the airway, it is known as obstructive sleep apnea, an asphyxiative condition.
Dr. Crystel Riggs treats sleep apnea with a custom-made snoring-prevention device called the Silent Nite. It repositions the lower jaw forward, opens the airway, and reduces the air velocity and soft tissue shuddering that cause snoring. Models of the upper and lower teeth are custom-fabricated, then the upper and lower forms attach to each other on each side by special connectors. This is what holds the lower jaw in a forward position.
The Silent Nite device neither interferes with oral breathing nor immobilizes the jaw. By not inhibiting the small movements of the jaw during sleep, the device also minimizes morning tempromandibular joint stiffness. By eliminating snoring, sleep is deeper and more restful for both the snorer and his or her family members.