How Snoring and Sleep Apnea Are Treated

Have you heard complaints from your partner or children or siblings that you snore? Snoring may seem like a small issue, which it is not. It may potentially be an indication of lack of breathing fully, which will translate to the inability to sleep well. Do you feel that you are feeling tired in your daily engagements despite sleeping early? If you answered Yes to these questions, then you may be experiencing symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.

How Snoring and Sleep Apnea Are Treated

What causes snoring?

When you breathe while you sleep, the uvula and the soft palate can vibrate at the base of your tongue or at the back of your throat, which results in snoring. Your tongue and other muscles in your tongue relax as you sleep causing the air pathway to narrow. Pressure may increase during narrowing, and it results in much harder breathing that turns out to be snoring. Other factors that contribute to snoring include:

  • OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)
  • Excess body weight
  • Certain kinds of sedatives or sleep aids
  • Alcohol

Is snoring seriously hazardous to your health?

Since snoring allows very little air to get to the brain, it can lead to hazardous health issues. If you discover that you are regularly snoring, then you may be exhibiting signs of sleep apnea. It is important to know that snoring does not indicate that you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), but OSA is a serious condition.

When you suffer from OSA, the lungs might receive very little air because of the soft tissues that are found at the back of the throat close to the airway. While you sleep, your brain may notice the blockage and trigger you to gasp in some air in order to resume breathing. Research has highlighted that conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, hypertension and heart disease are linked to sleep apnea and snoring.

The commonality of sleep apnea and the risk factors associated with it

The National Sleep Foundation has indicated that sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans and the identified risk factors include:

  • Recessive chin
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Large overbite or small jaw
  • Excess weight
  • Large tongue, or smaller upper airway or tonsils
  • Over 40 years of age

Sleep apnea can both children and adults of any age. There is still a growing awareness of sleep apnea among the public, with most of the sufferers from sleep apnea remaining untreated and undiagnosed.

Because of the potential consequences of this condition, it is important for knowledge to be shared with the public and evaluation to be taken seriously by sufferers.

Symptoms of sleep apnea

  • Headaches
  • Impotence
  • Gaining weight
  • Memory issues
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Falling asleep in meetings
  • Excessive sleeping during the daytime

The screening process of sleep apnea and snoring

An evaluation of the airway can be done in a well-equipped clinic using a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). 3D images of the airway are created by the device as it screens for sleep apnea and snoring to measure the diameter of the airway. The process of imaging takes a few minutes; it is safe, painless and non-invasive. Problem areas are then identified after the screening is complete and you may be referred to a sleep specialist for further diagnosis and evaluation.

What is oral appliance therapy?

Oral appliance therapy is a treatment method that involves the use of an oral appliance that is customized for sleep apnea and snoring. These devices are built with acrylic material, and they are used to cover the lower and the upper teeth that place the lower jaw open and forward. This is with the intention of helping the muscle tone to improve and move the tongue’s base forward. This generally improves the airway size, allowing the air to go through without lots of resistance. These oral appliances have a success rate of between 85-90% chances of preventing snoring, and it is 70% effective in preventing obstructive sleep apnea, but it also depends on the disorder severity.

What should I do to benefit from having an oral appliance?

A medical diagnosis and evaluation that includes sleep-disordered breathing will be undertaken to determine how to treat the illness. You will go to a primary care physician to begin your evaluation; a dentist is not licensed for this process. During the evaluation, one important requirement is that you will be required to undergo an overnight sleep study, while other physicians will send you to a Pulmonologist who will conduct other evaluations and treatment. More information about treatment and medication for sleep apnea on

A Pulmonologist is a board certified sleep physician who is highly qualified to treat breathing disorders during sleeping. A Pulmonologist will work with the help of an ENT specialist to determine the right treatment because patients can benefit from the procedures of the nose and throat for OSA treatment.

Treatment options for OSA

  • Oral Appliance Therapy which we have discussed


  • Positional Therapy: sleeping on the side of the body will improve a person’s snoring or sleep apnea.


  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): Patients who have severe sleep apnea use this device as the standard of care. A mask is provided to cover the nose and in some cases to the mouth which has an air blower connection. Air pressure is administered through the air blower to prevent the airway from collapsing.


  • Surgery of the jaw, throat or tongue. An ENT specialist may carry out a soft tissue procedure to clear the airway in patients who cannot manage to use oral appliances or CPAP. An oral surgeon may perform surgeries to the jaw to advance the lower and upper jaw to clear the way by removing the soft tissue. There are invasive procedures that should be done when non-invasive options have been exhausted.

What are the minor side effects of oral appliance therapy?

  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive salivation
  • Teeth loosening
  • Temporary changes of the bite
  • Teeth or jaw discomfort


For more information regarding snoring treatments in Hudson Valley, that can be undertaken for your sleeping problems, you may visit Dr. Ran Rubinstein of the Hudson Valley Sinus Center located in Newburgh, NY. You can also log onto the Hudson Valley Sinus Center’s website to look at more services offered at the medical center.


Guest Author Bio:

Kathy Mitchell is a Travel & Beauty Blogger. She likes to go out with her friends, travel, swim and practice yoga. To know more about her follow her on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Jess Benoit

Jess is a homeschooling mama of 3, wife, gamer, Whovian, Nerd

11 thoughts on “How Snoring and Sleep Apnea Are Treated

  • Thanks your article. Each people who get up not to relax in the morning, should read.

    I have an allergy in my nose. I can not find what triggers the allergy. Because of not to breath effectively, i have apnea also. I will get surgery two weeks later. My husband has anxiety about me. He said my breaths sometimes stops for 15 seconds. Then my body reacts to not to breath.

  • Interesting read. At some point 1-2 years ago I started snoring and my wife doesn’t particularly like it haha.

    I am not sure what caused it because before I did not snore. I have noticed that my sleeping posture affects my snoring. Basically, if I avoid sleeping on my back I almost never snore.

  • Dr. India Gibson, my dentist in Sugar Land, TX, provided me with a very beneficial sleep apnea treatment from her dental clinic in Sugar Land, TX. I am now sleeping better than I ever have before!

  • Brenda Garcia

    Sleep Apnea Treatment was the need of the hour for my dad (and for myself too cz I wasn’t able to sleep because of his snoring). My dentist at Maple Hill Dentistry in Yorktown Heights, NY gave him a dental device that is working wonders for him & for me both. Couldn’t helping sharing my experience after reading about this detailed account on Sleep Apnea. Thanks for sharing.

  • I never knew that I could solve my sleep apnea with an oral appliance before! I will be talking to my dentist Dental Health Centre in Ontario about this during my next visit!

  • That was pretty thorough information on Sleep Apnea. Thank you for sharing it! I found out about this condition on my visit to my dentist at Dr. Amy’s Dental Office in Thousand Oaks, CA when I went there for a routine cleaning session and while discussing about different conditions patients come with, they mentioned Sleep apnea, to which I was quite surprised because I was totally unaware about any such problem. Thanks for sharing again!

  • I did not know about sleep apnea and snoring and the connection between oral health and these two until I read your blog. I was at my dentist’s clinic at Ramona Dentistry of Chino, CA once and I heard a couple who had come there to consult the dentist about sleep apnea – that’s when I found out about this condition and began researching, which led me to your article – I found your article truly in-depth and thoughtful.

  • OMG! I didn’t know that sleep apnea is a real thing or that it is related to snoring. I had read about sleep apnea treatments somewhere but I am worried now because I snore a lot. I am gonna take this up with my dentist at Sunset Dental in Piqua, OH on my next visit for sure.

  • I always wondered what causes snoring and had no idea about Sleep Apnea. I had a chat with my dentist at Hillcrest Dental Arts in San Diego a long time back about this condition but didn’t think of it to be a serious thing -now I know I was wrong.

  • Nothing beats a freshly made bed, preferably line dried outside – we managed to dry our bedding outside for the first time this year, this week – heaven

  • Hi! I would like to thank you for the in-depth post you have shared. Sleep apnea is one of the most terrific sleep disorders I should say. If not treated earlier, it can be serious to our health.


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