Snoring and sleep apnea are two of the most common sleep-related breathing disorders. If you or someone you know snores, you might not think of visiting the dentist for treatment. The position of the jaws and related structures influences the development of sleep apnea, making the dentist a key professional in the diagnosis and treatment for select cases. Norfolk, VA dentist Dr. John C. Cranham treats snoring and sleep apnea using custom made removable oral appliances. These special dental devices fit comfortably in the mouth and are worn while you sleep to keep the airway open and prevent snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 50% of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Snoring by itself is generally not a health problem; however it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Patients who suffer with OSA repeatedly stop breathing while they sleep.

There is no single cause for snoring or sleep apnea. Often times snoring is made worse by drinking, smoking or using sedatives. Patients who are overweight are also more likely to snore or suffer from sleep apnea. The prevalence of sleep apnea increases with age and it is estimated that as many as 50% of elderly men and women suffer from the disorder.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Diagnosing a sleep-related breathing disorder such as OSA typically involves the dentist as well as the patient’s physician and/or other specialists. The medical team may use diagnostic imaging such as x-rays, to examine the airway and look for signs of blockage. A sleep study may also be recommended to evaluate the quality of sleep.

When you visit Dr. Cranham at his Norfolk, VA dentist office, he will review your medical history and discuss some of the signs that could indicate a sleep breathing disorder. Common signs include:

  • Daytime sleepiness and the tendency to fall asleep while reading, watching television or driving
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping while sleeping
  • Dry mouth
  • Morning headaches
  • Problems with concentration, mood and mental clarity

Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Treatment of sleep apnea is personalized to the symptoms and needs of the individual. There are many lifestyle changes a person can make to alleviate the symptoms of snoring or sleep apnea such as weight loss, quit smoking and eliminating the use of alcohol and sedatives before bed. While the CPAP is the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea, it has a very low compliance rate among patients. The chief complaint is that the CPAP is uncomfortable and obtrusive. Studies have shown that an oral appliance is more effective because it is more likely to be used by patients. Dr. Cranham can fabricate a custom oral appliance that is small, discreet and comfortable to wear.

Schedule a Consultation

Don’t you and your partner deserve a good night’s sleep? If you or someone you love snores, schedule an appointment with Dr. John Cranham for a consultation and find out if a snore guard is right for you. He treats patients with sleep apnea in the Norfolk, VA and Chesapeake, VA areas.

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"Dr. Cranham and his team are amazing! I have had years of challenges with TMJ and Dr. Cranham has found innovative treatments to correct my bite and my smile. Dr. Cranham is caring and gentle, which is important to me, as I have been a nervous dental patient. His knowledge and experience are impressive and I love recommending him to my clients who are new to Hampton Roads. A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Cranham and Staff!"

-Nancy K.

"I came to Dr. Cranham's office unhappy with the over all look of my front teeth. I wanted them whiter and wanted the edges to be more uniform and to close spaces, at the gumline, that were left after having braces. After an examination and a consultation, we determined the best course of treatment for me would be a combination of bleaching some teeth and doing veneers on others. This enabled us to be very conservative but also give me the look I wanted . I am so thankful to my dental team for giving me the smile I envisioned."

-David V.

"I am typically not an easygoing patient; however, my experience with Dr. Cranham and his staff continues to be nothing short of excellent. I am constantly reminded of my satisfaction with their work by a steady stream of compliments from both friends and strangers."

-Katie H.

"Dr. Cranham gave me the smile I always knew I had inside. Due to medical issues as a young child, my permanent teeth did not have the whiteness I wanted. In almost every family and school picture I took, I wouldn’t show my teeth. Dr. Cranham changed my life and gave me the confidence to greet the world with a smile."

-Mark C.

"I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Cranham. He listens carefully to what you want and your concerns and shows you what he thinks would be good for you. He has the most up-to-date equipment and an office staff second to none. He does beautiful work, and thanks to him, I don’t have to be self conscious about my smile anymore."

-Barbara C.