Snoring and Sleep apnea


When we sleep our body enters a state of relaxation which causes muscle relaxation throughout the entire body. Several muscles located in the throat become loose and decrease the diameter of the airways. When the space in the airways becomes insufficient, inspired air travels faster to the lungs and vibrates tissues such as the soft palate, uvula and throat. This vibration is loud and constitutes snoring. If the space decreases considerably, a complete obstruction of the airways can occur and this causes a complete cessation of breathing. This stoppage is defined as an episode of obstructive sleep apnea.


An apnea is a pause in breathing of ten seconds or more during sleep. This interruption is followed by an awakening or micro-awakening which aims to restore breathing and allows air to pass back into the respiratory tract. A patient with apnea can have a hundred such stoppages in a night, although he does not realize it.

Snoring is usually associated with sleep apnea, but it is possible to snore and not have apnea.

To find out if a person suffers from sleep apnea or if they snore requires an evaluation by a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine.


Important facts

Sleep apnea and snoring have been and unfortunately still are serious medical conditions overlooked by some medical professionals. Fortunately, for a little over ten years, this is a subject that has been the subject of numerous in-depth and rigorous scientific studies that have enabled doctors to better understand its impact on the human body. In addition to known risk factors, sleep apnea and snoring are independent causes of new diagnoses of high blood pressure, depression, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, motor vehicle accidents and work, disability, diabetes, cancer, as well as learning, behavioral and attention disorders in children.


It has been shown that nearly 50% of diagnosed ADHD disorders are related to sleep disorders in children. Patients suffering from moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) run the risk of increasing their mortality rate by 50% if their condition is not treated and they are over 50 years old. OSA and snoring put stress on the body and increase the risk of hypertension, heart attack, heart failure, stroke and death.


It has even been shown that OSA is linked to the onset of concentration and memory problems, erectile dysfunction and a decrease in the quality of life of a couple.

Diabetes and Apnea

You would think that these are separate, unrelated conditions. It would seem that this is not the case since studies report that patients suffering from apnea are nine times more at risk of developing diabetes than the general population. More than 40% of men with type 2 diabetes suffer from apnea. Recent research suggests that treating sleep apnea may help people with type 2 diabetes sleep better as well as improve their blood sugar levels. This decrease in the level of sugar decreases the chances of complications due to diabetes such as heart and kidney disease.


Blood pressure and OSA

Very recently, a Swedish study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation wanted to evaluate if wearing an intra-oral device that brings the lower jaw forward could reduce high blood pressure (much like we have already observed with CPAP). Twenty nine patients with OSA and arterial hypertension were followed over a period of 3 years after the placement of a mandibular advancement orthosis (MAO). They thus evaluated the apnea and blood pressure of the patients twice after the start of use of the device, i.e. after 3 months and after 3 years. The first evaluation demonstrated a significant decrease in blood pressure in these patients.


This decrease was maintained after three years. They were therefore able to conclude that, like CPAP, the mandibular advancement orthosis (MAO) reduces hypertension and since a large proportion of apneic patients are also hypertensive, this is a significant finding.


In many cases the compressor (CPAP) remains the best treatment for apnea.

However, more and more studies show that it is possible to obtain excellent results with a small intraoral device such as the MAO.

If you are unable to get used to a CPAP, come in and see us!
We can help you.