How can I treat my snoring?
Snoring can be embarrassing, impacting the quality of sleep for both you and your partner, but did you know that it can also be the sign of a life-threatening sleep disorder known as sleep apnea? If you snore loudly while you sleep it is important to get tested for sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common and serious medical condition that can impact all aspects of your health and quality of life. Treating Obstructive sleep apnea does not guarantee the elimination of snoring, but it is possible to reduce it considerably.
While not all patients who snore have sleep apnea, loud snoring is the number one indication of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep. Most commonly the soft tissues in the back of the mouth relax and collapse, blocking normal oxygen flow. While the patient sleeps their body is deprived of the oxygen it needs to function properly. Patients wake repeatedly throughout the night, often gasping for air. Unable to sleep soundly, patients with OSA typically feel tired even after 8 hours of rest, have higher rates of depression, and may feel agitated or have difficulty concentrating.
Left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risk of cardiovascular and systemic disease. Treating sleep apnea can help lower your risk of secondary health conditions and can improve your overall well-being and quality of life.
Patients with sleep apnea are more prone to developing the following medical conditions:
- Headaches & Migraines
- Chronic fatigue
- Cardiovascular Disease
Risk Factors: Do I have sleep apnea?
While anyone, of any age, can develop sleep apnea, there are certain factors that indicate a higher risk of developing OSA. Knowing your risk factors can help you seek treatment before sleep apnea begins to affect the quality of your life. If one or more of the following risk factors apply to you or your loved one, consider scheduling a sleep apnea study with your medical doctor or dentist.
Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Wide neck circumference
- Male gender
- Over 40 years old
Stop Snoring: Treating Sleep Apnea
While your dentist may not be the first person you think of when seeking treatment for sleep apnea, Smile Artists dentist Dr. Solberg offers alternative treatment options to the traditional CPAP machine. Oral sleep appliance therapy is a more discreet and often more comfortable solution for putting an end to loud snoring and treating sleep apnea. It can also make traveling and camping less complicated, by eliminating the need to bring a portable CPAP machine.
Oral sleep appliance therapy is proven to be effective for alleviating sleep apnea. A custom oral appliance is fit to your unique specifications. The appliance is worn while sleeping. The device keeps the upper and lower jaw in proper alignment and forces the soft tissues away from the airway. Patients should sleep more soundly and breathe more normally throughout the night preventing the dangerous side effects associated with sleep apnea.