Snoring & Sleep Apnea

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep apnea occurs when people stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. This stoppage in breathing can last for as long as 60 seconds. When the brain realizes that it needs air, it sends panic signals to the body to wake up. These constant arousals result in fragmented sleep that robs your body of the rest it needs to function properly during the day.

What is Snoring?

Snoring is the result of your airway narrowing, causing air to be inhaled at an increased speed and pressure. This makes the tissue in the back of your throat vibrate and produces the snoring sound. Airway blockage may be caused by excess tissue in the throat, large tonsils, a large tongue, and sometimes the structure of the jaw itself. Heavy, loud snoring can be a sign of a more serious health problem called Sleep Apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder in which your breathing stops repeatedly while you sleep. These breathing stops are called “apneas.” When your breathing stops due to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), your brain will automatically arouse you enough to start breathing again. These constant arousals result in fragmented sleep that robs your body of the rest it needs to function properly during the day.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the numbers of stops (apneas) or slow breathing (hypopnea) per hour.

A Hypopnea is a decrease in airflow, whereas an Apnea is the cessation of airflow during sleep for at least ten seconds or longer, and this may happen hundreds of times a night. Apnea / Hypopnea Index (AHI) is a measurement of the number of apneas plus the number of hypopneas
per sleep hour.

Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Disorders, Including Snoring & OSA:

  • Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
  • Dry Mouth/Throat in Morning
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy, loud snoring
  • Impotence
  • Lack of concentration
  • Morning headaches
  • Night Sweats
  • Witnessed Apneas
  • Choking or stopping breathing during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia (Inability to Fall Asleep)
  • Limbs jerk during sleep / leg cramping
  • Mood, Memory, or Learning Problems
  • Waking up tired or thirsty
  • Waking throughout the night

Consequences of Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  • Impaired Cognitive Function
  • Daytime Sleepiness & Fatigue
  • Increased Healthcare Costs
  • Erectile & Sexual Dysfunction
  • Marital Discord
  • ADD / ADHD
  • Increased likelihood of Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Impaired Quality of Life
  • Increased Mortality Rates
  • Poor Performance
  • Gastric Reflux

Medical Dangers of Sleep Apnea:

  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart attack
  • Depression
  • Heart Disease

How We Can Help:

Dr. Šarić is a trained member of the Canadian Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines (CACSDD) and is trained to screen and evaluate patients for sleep apnea through questionnaires and comprehensive examination of the head, neck, facial area and supporting structures.

Our Comprehensive Examination Involves:

  • Checking the upper airway for obstruction, including nose and throat
  • A TMJ disorder evaluation to establish the ideal jaw position
  • Necessary X-rays
  • Diagnostic models
  • At-home sleep study

Our questionnaires and examination will determine if you are at risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and we will recommend that you take our at-home sleep test, if you have not yet been to a sleep center.

Test Yourself!
Click Here for a Short Questionnaire to Determine Your Level of Daytime Sleepiness

With so many advances in the dental field Dr. Šarić is now able to conservatively and successfully treat mild to moderate sleep apnea cases. If your oral evaluation reveals an airway restriction, an oral sleep appliance can be a successful treatment.

Diagnosing Your Sleep Apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is diagnosed through an overnight sleep study, known as a polysomnograph.

At Smile Design, we offer at-home sleep testing for patients who have not yet visited a sleep clinic or to test the effectiveness of treatment. Using the same technology found in sleep laboratories, the Braebon MediByte Jr. ® is a small recording device we use to help detect Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

There are many advantages to taking the at-home sleep test including convenience, especially for patients with disabilities, and comfort of sleeping in your own bed.

Treatment Options:

Dental Sleep Medicine is the management of Sleep Disorders with Oral Appliances, Dental Orthopedics, and Surgery as part of a medical-dental collaborative team.

Oral Appliance Therapy is the least invasive method of preserving the airway during sleep and treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A custom made and fitted Oral Appliance works by repositioning your tongue and lower jaw forward during sleep to maintain an open airway. This prevents the airway from collapsing by creating extra airway space.

Oral Appliances are non-restrictive in movement and non-claustrophobic. When given an option, many patients prefer the Oral Appliance Therapy for its comfort, convenience, and effectiveness.

Most patients find that it only takes a few nights to become accustomed to wearing an appliance.

Other Current Treatment Options:

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP Therapy):

CPAP therapy is pressurized room air delivered to splint the airway open – this requires you to wear a mask or nasal prongs over the nose and/or mouth, which are connected to an air pump. CPAP is the standard of OSA treatment. Many OSA patients cannot tolerate wearing the CPAP throughout the night as they find it to be awkward, inconvenient, or claustrophobic.

Common CPAP Complaints:

  • Inconvenient
  • Nasal dryness or stuffiness
  • Mask fit, discomfort
  • Social Stigma, bedroom embarrassment
  • Claustrophobia
  • Inability to exhale against pressure
  • Eye irritation from mask leaks
  • Skin Irritation
  • Facial marks from pressure points
  • Restricts movement
  • Disturbs sleep
  • Machine noise
  • Rhinitis
  • Acne
  • Ear Pain
  • Power Supply Required


Surgery is usually only recommended when all other options fail. Depending on your conditions, a specialist may find it necessary to surgically advance your jaw or remove excess throat tissues. A major drawback to surgery is it invasiveness, once it has been performed, its results cannot be reversed.

Epworth Calculator

How Likely are you to Doze off or Fall Asleep in the Following Situations, in Contrast to Just Feeling Tired?

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a self-administered questionnaire with 8 questions. It provides a measure of a person’s general level of daytime sleepiness, or their average sleep propensity in daily life. It has become the world standard method for making assessments regarding sleep disorders.

Interactive self-evaluation test

Using the rating scale below, rate each of the following statements as it best applies to you:

Would never doze Slight chance
of dozing
Moderate chance
of dozing
High chance
of dozing
  Sitting and reading
  Watching TV
  Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g. cinema or in a meeting)
  Being in a car for an hour as a passenger (without a break)
  Lying down to rest in the afternoon (when possible)
  Sitting and chatting to someone
  Sitting quietly after lunch (not having had alcohol)
  In a car when you stop in traffic for a few minutes

 Your Score 
 It Means    

Result What your ESS result indicates
Less than 10 You are most likely getting enough sleep
However, if you have noticed a change in your normal sleep routine, you may want to discuss this with your doctor.
10 - 15 Your may be suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness
You should see you Doctor to determine the cause of your sleepiness and possible treatment. 
Your Doctor may refer you to Sleep Services Australia for a home-based sleep study to assist in your diagnosis.
16+ You are dangerously sleepy
It is imperative that you see your Doctor to determine the cause of your sleepiness, and to investigate treatment as soon as possible.  Your Doctor can refer you to Sleep Services Australia for a sleep study to assist in your diagnosis.

* This scale should not be used to make your own diagnosis. It is intended as a tool to help you  identify your own level of daytime sleepiness, which can often by a symptom of many sleep disorders.

* Please Note - true excessive daytime sleepiness is almost always caused by an underlying medical condition that can be easily diagnosed and effectively treated.

If you or someone you love suffers from sleep problems, we can help.
Contact our office today for an assessment

Dr. Mira T. Saric & Assoc.
19 Dundas St. W.
Mississauga, ON
L5B 1H2
905 270 5112 -


19 Dundas St. W.
Mississauga, Ontario
L5B 1H2

Office Hours

Mon. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tues. 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wed. 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thurs. 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Fri. 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Sat. 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Sun. Closed  


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