While snoring can keep you from a good night’s sleep, you shouldn’t dismiss it as just an annoyance. Often, it signifies sleep apnea, a medical condition that impacts an estimated 12 to 20 million Americans every night. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form, happens when the airway becomes blocked while you sleep. The lapses in breathing, which cause you to awaken and take a breath, can occur up to 30 times an hour and hundreds of times each night.
Without treatment, sleep apnea can lead to:
A continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP, is the most common treatment. However, for patients who are CPAP intolerant or prefer a less invasive solution, Dr. Reintjes may advise the use of a nightguard. This custom oral appliance holds the jaw slightly forward to prevent the closure of the airway, enabling a patient to breathe normally and sleep peacefully all night.