Does your partner complain about your snoring? Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night because of your own snoring? Does it sometimes feel like you’re gasping for air while dozing off? Do you consistently wake up with a headache? Sleep apnea affects you not only while you're asleep but also how you feel in the morning, your ability to focus at work, and more importantly your heart health.


Rutland Dental Centre in Kelowna works with a local Kelowna sleep clinic. We can help arrange an overnight sleep study resulting in a better diagnosis and treatment plan best suited to the severity of the condition. Although the gold standard for treatment is a CPAP machine, mild and moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can be successfully treated using mandibular advancement oral appliances. The oral appliances work by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue forward to open the airway, relieving the obstruction, and providing a restful sleep.


What is sleep apnea?


Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes your airways to become temporarily blocked or obstructed. Sleep apnea symptoms usually intensify when you sleep flat on your back and may result in:


  • Gasping for air during the night
  • Increased nighttime trips to the bathroom
  • Intense snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Jaw pain



What causes sleep apnea?


Obstructive sleep apnea is just one type of sleep apnea and occurs when your tongue or other tissues drift to the back of your throat while you sleep. Obesity, a family history of sleep apnea, and being male are three risk factors for sleep apnea, but anyone can experience it.


Sleep apnea and bruxism


Sleep apnea and bruxism (or grinding) are different conditions, but research indicates that people with sleep apnea have a higher risk of clenching their jaw.


If your night is interrupted by intense snoring or gasping, and you wake with headaches or jaw pain, your sleep apnea is likely contributing to sleep-related bruxism.


Fortunately, there are treatments available to reduce sleep apnea symptoms and nighttime bruxism. 


Oral appliances for sleep apnea 


A sleep apnea appliance is custom made to fit onto your teeth, and works by holding your jaw in the best position to prevent your tongue or other tissues from blocking your airway while you sleep. 


If sleep apnea keeps you from feeling refreshed each morning, don't wait any longer to get a custom night guard. Call Dr. Priya Stearns' Kelowna dental office at (250) 765-7662 or email to schedule an appointment.

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We welcome new patients and will always make room for your family and friends. Please visit the new patients page to get a head start on filling in the required forms, and to book your appointment.

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