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Snoring/Sleep Apnea

Our office is now helping our patients that have sleep apnea!

Sleep apnea is the temporary cessation of breathing especially during sleep.  Your body needs oxygen and many persons with sleep apnea do not even know they have a problem!  Use of a CPAP machine used to be the only good solution for sleep apnea.   The Herbst appliance has been approved for the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea, and many people prefer using this appliance to the use of a CPAP machine.  A professional sleep study is the best way to tell if you suffer from sleep apnea.  Many patients with sleep apnea also snore.  Our office has made snoring appliances for our patients for over 25 years. So, we are good at it! We now offer a few different kinds of Sleep Apnea and Snoring appliances depending on the situation.

What does a Herbst Appliance look like?

This Herbst appliance does not cover the upper front teeth. The rubber bands help to keep the jaw closed.

Herbst appliances may be designed differently but they have in common an adjustable bar that keeps the lower jaw slightly forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This durable snoring appliance has been worn by a patient of our Grand Junction dentist for several years. He brings it with him to our office for regular cleanings. All acrylic appliances will change in color over time. This one started out as clear! Smooth tabs on the side of the appliances can be adjusted to bring the jaw forward and open the airway.

How does a Herbst Appliance work to help with opening the airway and with snoring?

Snoring is the sound made when the airway is restricted in some way. It may or may not be annoying or even harmful to the person who snores, or to the person who hears the snoring. As your body relaxes during sleep, the soft tissues and/or tongue may impinge on the airway at the back of the throat.  If you do stop breathing, this can be very harmful!

During snoring, the volumetric capacity of the airway is decreased and the air entering or escaping from the lungs may cause snoring. This may be accompanied by sleep apnea and a decreased supply of oxygen to the body during nighttime breathing.

 

diagram of Silent Night snoring appliance

Appliances like the ‘Silent Nite’ are easy to wear, comfortable, and decrease snoring by increasing the volumetric capacity of the airway.

 

How do Snoring Devices Help?

anti-snoring device called Herbst applianceSnoring appliances will often benefit persons with sleep apnea as they promote forward movement of the lower jaw, thereby opening the airway and increasing the volumetric capacity. This aids in the prevention of both snoring and sleep apnea. The photo to the right shows a Silent Nite appliance.

Our newest, and current favorite sleep apnea and anti-snoring device is called a Herbst appliance. It shows great promise for the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea – it is durable and comfortable.

 

How to Know if I Have Just Snoring or Snoring with Sleep Apnea?

It is usually the person you sleep with or those close to you when you sleep that will happily tell you about your snoring. It may in fact interfere with their sleep more than with yours! Sleep apnea is potentially more serious. Sleep apnea is the temporary cessation of breathing especially during sleep. Thousands suffer from sleep apnea. The best way to know if you have sleep apnea is to have a professional sleep study completed, during which you are monitored throughout the night to see if your breathing and air intake is affected.

Please ask us if you have further questions about snoring or sleep apnea. We are happy to help!