Nighttime snoring is not only annoying, but it may also be indicative of a far more serious problem. “Sleep apnea” is a common sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing, snorting and choking noises, and instances of shallow breathing. “Obstructive” sleep apnea occurs when muscles at the back of the throat (which support the soft palate, the uvula, the tonsils, the side walls of the throat, and the tongue) relax to the point where the airway narrows/closes when breathing in. To treat this form of sleep apnea, the dentist can make a “mandibular advancement device,” which works by moving the jaw forward and increasing the size of the airway, thereby reducing the air resistance that causes snoring and sleep apnea.

This week’s column on the progress of finding better help for patients who suffer with sleep apnea is brought to you by the office of PAUL E. NELSON, D.D.S. We stress the importance of preventive dental care for the entire family. When was the last time you had your teeth checked by a professional? Call us now at 714.992.0092 and schedule an appointment. Your total emotional and physical well-being is as important to us as your teeth. We will do what is best for you and we will not compromise. We’re located at 100 N. State College Blvd., Suite 1.

P.S. Recent research suggests that mandibular advancement devices are effective at reducing blood pressure in patients with hypertension.

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