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Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Is My Snoring a Problem?

Is snoring a problem in your household? Do you snore yourself or are you awakened by someone else’s snoring?  Estimates suggest that over 50% of adult males and 30% of adult females may be affected by snoring. It’s a common problem caused by relaxed soft tissues of the mouth and throat that causes the airway to constrict.  The constricted airway causes the air to be inhaled at an increased speed and pressure.  This is turn makes the soft tissues at the back of the mouth vibrate, thus producing the loud and annoying sound known as snoring.

Heavy, loud snoring can be a sign of a more serious problem known as sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea

Snoring can also be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a serious health condition, which left undiagnosed and untreated, can result in headaches, difficulty with memory, depression, high blood pressure, heart problems, including stroke, heart attacks, and ultimately heart failure.

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep apnea happens when people stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. This stoppage in breathing can last for as long as 30 seconds, and can occurs many times throughout the night. When the brain realizes that it needs air, it sends panic signals to the body to wake it up.

Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep (apnea)
  • Choking or gasping during sleep
  • Sudden awakenings to restart breathing
  • Waking up in a sweat
  • Daytime sleepiness while reading, sitting or driving
  • Morning headaches or jaw joint soreness
  • Fatigue

Untreated Sleep Apnea is Serious

  • It increases your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke
  • Sleep apnea can contribute to problems with concentration and memory
  • It can be associated with problems of depression, irritability, and job performance
  • Sleep apnea can result in daytime tiredness and is a leading cause of automobile accidents

Who is most at risk for sleep apnea?

Most at risk for sleep apnea are overweight men over the age of 40, although females are also affected. But they arenít the only people that can be affected by this condition. Children, teens and adults of any age can also have sleep apnea.


At present, only physicians can diagnose sleep apnea. If you suspect you or your sleep partner has a snoring problem or sleep apnea, Dr. Chiesa can conduct a comprehensive evaluation and refer you to your physician for a sleep study. Call us at 905-389-2431!

Diagnostic assessment may include:

  • Evaluation of the head, neck, face and supporting structures
  • Check upper airway for obstruction
  • Jaw joint, jaw position and bite assessment
  • Intra-oral habit assessment and gag reflex
  • Diagnostic models
  • Overnight sleep study

Treatment Options for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

1. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the standard of care for patients suffering with sleep apnea. It consists of a machine that controls the flow of oxygen with an attached hose to a mask that you wear over your mouth and nose while you sleep. The machine requires electricity and must be disconnected to get out of bed. Several patients find it very uncomfortable or impossible to wear the CPAP mask.

2. A custom-fabricated oral (dental) appliance can be fitted to treat snoring and sleep apnea. It is an effective and comfortable alternative to CPAP therapy. By simply wearing this appliance while sleeping, your lower jaw will be moved forward into a comfortable position, thereby allowing the tissues at the back of your throat to relax and insures that the base of the tongue does not collapse and block the airway. This will give you a safe and soundless sleep. There are no masks or hose attachments in which to get tangled, there are unlimited sleep positions, and the appliance is small, discrete, and convenient for travelling. Many patients find this appliance more comfortable than using the CPAP machine and mask. CHIESA DENTAL CARE can advise you on the best intra-oral snoring/sleep apnea appliance to suit your needs.

If you would like to learn more about snoring and sleep apnea, or if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and CPAP has been recommended for you, you are invited to arrange a consultation with Dr. Chiesa to explore your option of an intra-oral appliance to treat this condition. Call us at 905-389-2431.