Although snoring seems physically harmless, it can be a “red flag” for a much more serious and sometimes fatal condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause chronic sleepiness, strokes, heart attacks, heartburn, morning headaches, depression, high blood pressure, and impotence.
Our office offers an FDA approved oral appliance solution for snoring and sleep apnea: the Thornton Adjustable Positioner® (TAP®).
A Unique Approach
The Thornton Adjustable Positioner® (TAP®) is based on the same principle as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR. The airway must be opened to allow air to pass through the throat. A constricted or collapsed airway causes snoring or sleep apnea.
The TAP holds the lower jaw in a forward position so that it does not fall open during the night and cause the airway to collapse. The TAP maintains a clear airway to reduce snoring and improve breathing.
When the jaw opens and the tongue falls into the back of the throat, the airway narrows forcing air through the small opening. This creates vibrations in the throat known as snoring.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway completely collapses blocking airflow into the lungs. The harder one tries to breathe, the tighter the airway seals. This airway obstruction persists until the brain partially awakens the person. Unconsciously, he/she will close the jaw returning the tongue and throat to a normal position.
The sleep apnea cycle – falling asleep, jaw relaxing, airway collapsing, unconsciously awakening with a gasp, falling back asleep – can repeat itself 50 or more times per hour during the night. With a blocked air passage, one does not receive enough oxygen. Both the awakening and oxygen deprivation can then trigger other health problems.
Quiet At Last!
There is a new solution available to those who snore or have sleep apnea – the TAP, an oral appliance similar to an athletic mouth guard that is worn while sleeping. Developed with advanced dental technology, the TAP reduces sleep apnea associated health risks without the need for surgery, medications, or other more cumbersome therapy.