Don’t Let Snoring and Sleep Apnea Ruin Your Sleep
Many of us often think that snoring is just a simple annoyance that our partner might do at nighttime. While not all snoring is harmful to your health, it could be the first sign of a bigger problem—obstructive sleep apnea. Severe snoring can cause an array of problems, including sleep disturbances for the snorer and other household members as well as walking episodes. Snoring does not always result in sleep apnea, but chronic snoring may indicate an underlying sleep disorder. Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes and car accidents due to sleepiness while driving.
What is Sleep Apnea?
- Sleep apnea is a type of breathing disorder, which is a serious, and potentially life-threatening condition characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Central – the upper airway is open, but no oxygen is getting into the system.
- Obstructive – the lungs and the diaphragm are functioning normally, but no oxygen is entering the system because there is an obstruction in the upper airway.
- Mixed – this is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.
- The signs and symptoms of OSA include snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, gasping or choking during the night, non-refreshed sleep, fragmented sleep, clouded memory, irritability, personality changes and morning headaches.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
In September 1995 the American Sleep Disorder Association endorsed oral appliance therapy as the third currently acceptable treatment modality for snoring and sleep apnea. The largest number of patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea is in the mild to moderate categories and should be treated with oral appliances.
Despite the fact that treatment with the CPAP unit is extremely successful, there are a number of patients who cannot or choose not to wear the face mask with the attached air compressor. For these patients, oral appliances provided by a dentist trained in sleep disorders are proving to be an excellent treatment option. There are three types of oral appliances available for treatment of sleep apnea:
- Soft palatal life appliance
- Tongue retraining device
- Mandibular repositioner
Don’t Lose Sleep from Snoring
Snoring, often times a symptom of sleep apnea, is caused from the vibration at the back of the throat, and dental appliances can sometimes help to minimize or eliminate the problem. In these instances, diagnosis is vital because snoring alone does not automatically signify a serious problem. For basic snorers, a dental appliance can provide relief because it is designed to reposition the jaw, muscles, tissue and tongues. The appliance is used to help breathing become less labored, giving a person more room to breathe quietly.
The severity of snoring varies from person to person and case to case. Snoring can be a mild nuisance that disturbs your sleep for a moment or it can be symptoms of a more serious disorder called sleep apnea. You can make positive lifestyle changes to minimize your snoring by:
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Getting treatment for allergies if you have them
- Limit or avoid alcohol use and sedatives
- Sleep on your side instead of your back
With the help of your dentist in Chandler, AZ, your snoring and sleep apnea can be treated with the use of dental devices to open your airways. No longer do you have to lose sleep over snoring or sleep apnea. Consult your Chandler, AZ dentist for diagnosis and treatment options to alleviate your symptoms.
For more information on sleep apnea treatment from Solaris Dentistry
call our Chandler, AZ office at (480) 802-6617