Do you snore?
Maybe you’ve woken yourself up with your snoring or your partner has informed you that your snoring is causing others in your home to have sleepless nights.
While snoring is a frustrating condition on its own, it can also be the sign of a much larger problem.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that can be caused by a number of factors, including weight gain, large tonsils, a deviated septum, and even genetics. Males are more prone to sleep apnea than females, and people over age 40 are also at higher risk.
When you fall asleep, the soft tissues in your throat can relax so much that they vibrate with every breath and cause snoring. They can also relax to the point that they actually obstruct your airway. This causes you to rouse multiple times during the night and prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep.
If your partner reports that your snoring is uneven or that you start and stop snoring abruptly, you should schedule an appointment to find out if you have sleep apnea. Other common symptoms that can point to obstructive sleep apnea include:
- A sore throat when you wake up
- Daytime drowsiness
- Headaches throughout the day
- Mood swings
- Waking up multiple times throughout the night
A sleep study may be necessary to determine the severity of your condition.
Untreated sleep apnea is linked to numerous other significant health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
Additionally, the poor sleep caused by sleep apnea can lead to drowsiness during the day, which can be dangerous while driving and can cause problems at work and at home.
Treating Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Many of the treatments recommended for sleep apnea are uncomfortable or invasive. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are noisy and can be difficult to get used to, and surgery does not have a very high success rate.
Call our office and make an appointment to discuss oral appliance therapy. The appliance is worn at night while you are sleeping. Unlike a CPAP machine, the appliance is comfortable to wear and custom-fitted to your mouth for a perfect fit. It also won’t disturb the sleep of your partner like a CPAP can!
If your dentist determines that the appliance is a good choice for you, you will be fitted for your own unique device. Your appliance works by moving your lower jaw into a position that increases the space in your airway. This allows air to move freely through your airway and reduces the vibration that causes the snoring. Because your appliance is custom made for your mouth, it fits comfortably and provides enough leeway for small jaw movements. It also does not obstruct your airflow.
If you think you might have sleep apnea or you have trouble with snoring, call our office today to find out what we can do to help you have a better night’s sleep.