Mar
13

Snoring Is Annoying but Sleep Apnea May Threaten Your Health

Snoring in bed can be an unpleasant behavior, and not just for your partner! If you are snoring then you probably are not getting a good night’s sleep.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring results when the tissues in your throat relax so much that they vibrate because they partially block your airway. This happens when you proceed from a night of light sleep to a night of deep sleep and your tongue, throat, and muscles in the roof of your mouth relax.

Some of the factors that can cause snoring are:

  • Sleep position. Snoring typically occurs most frequently when sleeping on the back.
  • Mouth anatomy. Those who are overweight may have narrower airways, as can those with a thick, low soft palate.
  • Alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol near bedtime can relax your throat muscles enough to reduce your natural defense against airway obstruction.
  • Nasal problems. A deviated nasal septum or chronic congestion may contribute to snoring.

What Is the Difference Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

Snoring may be a nuisance, but it may also signal a more serious health condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes an unconscious break in breathing where your breathing stops or nearly stops.

Sleep apnea symptoms may include daytime sleepiness, headaches, morning sore throat, nighttime gasping, high blood pressure and chest pain at night. Your sleep is disrupted because you are not getting enough oxygen.

Sleep apnea can even increase your risk of having a car accident due to lack of sleep. Children with sleep apnea may exhibit more behavior and learning problems.

We Can Help Treat Sleep Apnea with a Specially Designed Oral Appliance

If your physician has diagnosed you with sleep apnea, usually from an overnight sleep study, he or she may recommend a c-pap machine. This device uses a mask to maintain airflow while you sleep.

However, in some mild sleep apnea cases or for those who cannot tolerate a c-pap, we offer an effective alternative called a Mandibular Advancement Device. This comfortable oral appliance moves your lower jaw forward to prevent the closure of the airway. Your breathing will remain regular through the night so you will receive adequate oxygen for uninterrupted sleep.

We are specially trained to treat obstructive sleep apnea with these oral devices. Please come in for a consultation to learn more about how a Mandibular Advancement Device will give you a good night’s sleep!

Visit these websites to learn more about sleep apnea and how to stop snoring.

Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.

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