Sleep is one of those things in life that people never really appreciate until they’re not getting enough of it. In a 2014 study conducted by the Sleep Foundation, it was found that 35 percent of Americans report poor quality sleep. Among sleep disorders there is one that is louder than all others. Moderate to severe sleep apnea affects some 22 million Americans according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. For those not in the know, sleep apnea symptoms may vary, but common symptoms are:

  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • insomnia
  • snoring
  • episodes of no breathing
  • loud breathing

Some of these symptoms exacerbate conditions like dry mouth, fatigue, headaches, and depression.


There are two common classifications of sleep apnea, central apnea and obstructive apnea.
Central apnea is a result of potential problems with the central nervous system. In short, this type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain sends delayed signals to the respiratory symbols.
Obstructive sleep apnea is often weight related. The affected person suffers from forceful breathing with closed or blocked airways. This is the type that is most commonly associated with snoring and the snores and/or other noises come from the closed glottis and airways. This is also the most common type of sleep apnea. If you feel like you are experiencing these symptoms a sleep study should be in your future. The good news is that everyone’s favorite healthcare maybe able to help. That’s right; your dentist may have treatments for your sleep apnea or excessive snoring.


One solution to snoring and mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea is the use of a mouth guard, or mandibular advancement devices. Every set of teeth is as unique as the person who has them and this means that the effectiveness of boil-and-bite options is almost nonexistent. A custom fit mouth guard – created by your dentist by taking a mold of your teeth to ensure a comfortable fit – pulls the lower jaw forward and prevents the jaw from sinking back and closing off the throat. Another option is to use a tongue stabilizer device. This device suctions the tongue to the front of the mouth thereby preventing it from falling back into the throat to block the airway. It can’t be overstated that while over the counter devices may seem like the quick fix it is always best to seek professional assistance. Using the quick fix may, in some cases, misalign the teeth and cause more harm than good. It’s also important to receive a diagnosis before you begin any sort of treatment options. At Pacific Dental Center Dr. Snow can assess your symptoms and determine which method of anti-snoring device might work best for you. Let us pose the question, if you could get consistently better sleep every night, would you investigate it? Yes! So don’t wait, schedule your appointment today. Dr. Jim Snow in Encinitas, has been practicing general and cosmetic dentistry since 1994. Dr. Snow specializes in helping his patients with sleep apnea. For more information visit Pacific Dental Center or call his office at 760-436-7222.