Have you heard of obstructive sleep apnea? How can The Moses® snore guard help you? Most people who snore don’t realize that they may also have sleep apnea. Not everyone has sleep apnea but a good many people do and they don't realize it.
What is Sleep Apnea?
When you're sleeping, your breathing repeatedly starts and stops. You snore loudly and never get a good night’s sleep. This is because your tongue obstructs your airway. The airway is either blocked by your throat muscles relaxing, your throat being too narrow, sinus problems, or all of the above.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep, reported by another person
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Morning headache and Irritability
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty paying attention while awake
CPAP and More Cavities
Most medical doctors will want you to get a CPAP machine. Medical insurance covers it, so that is usually the option offered. But a lot of our patients don’t like CPAP. They can't sleep with it and have many other issues. CPAP can cause you to have dry mouth which in turn causes cavities. A lot of people that are wearing CPAPs end up needing more dental care. You may say, "Well, how come I'm getting cavities now?" My answer is “you wear a CPAP all night and it dries out your mouth.”
There is Another Option: The Moses®
There are several different types of snore guards. I've tried different ones but the one I use is called The Moses®, just like Moses from the Bible. I find it works very well for patients. Basically, it moves your jaw forward and opens up your bite a little bit so that your tongue can't block the airway as much. Then you get better airflow and you sleep better. I have a lot of patients that completely quit snoring and I have some that may go from obstructive sleep apnea down to just regular light snoring.
Other snore guards are closed at the front so you can't do any of the things The Moses® allows. With The Moses®, you can sleep on your side. You can drink water and talk with it in. You can get up and go to the bathroom without unhooking anything. It works really well. You do have to get used to an appliance in your mouth, but that's no different from getting used to a CPAP mask. Actually, most people have an easier time getting used to a snore guard than they do a CPAP.
Many People Who Snore Also Have Bruxism
Believe it or not, a lot of people that snore, also have bruxism (clenching and grinding teeth).
They do both. They'll go through periods of snoring and then they'll go through periods of clenching. Bruxism is usually treated by putting an appliance in your mouth that keeps your teeth from grinding against each other. That causes wear on your teeth and it also allows your muscles to relax so that you get better sleep. The Moses® snore guard will also treat bruxism.
When would a CPAP need to be used rather than a Snore Guard?
The Moses® is an appliance that is advertised and indicated for people that snore or for people who have mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, or anybody that cannot tolerate a CPAP machine. Technically, this may not work as well as a CPAP for somebody that has a severe case of obstructive sleep apnea. However, I've had several people with severe obstructive sleep apnea and it's helped them a lot. The Moses® is not advertised as a solution, but it can work as one.
Major Sinus Issues
If people have major sinus problems, they may need to get that treated too. They could have a medical situation that necessitates opening up the nasal passages. Sometimes people have very large tonsils or adenoids and may need to have them removed. I'm not in favor of that surgery where they just kind of cut your whole palette out; I see a lot of patients where that has been a huge failure. Don't ever agree to that sort of surgery.
What to Expect When You Come Into the Office for Your Snore Guard
We take impressions of your mouth first and send them to the laboratory to fabricate your snore guard. Then you come back into our office for a fitting when the snore guard is ready. I will put your jaw in certain positions and run a type of muscle testing on you to determine where the most comfortable spot is for you to wear the guard. I go over your oral hygiene habits, your expectations of wearing this device, and how to adjust it. Then you are ready to take it home.