Stop Snoring With Your Dentist’s Help
On television and in the movies, snoring is usually meant to be funny. It’s a gag to show that a certain character is sleeping, or possibly that he or she might be waking up because of what other characters are doing.
In real life, sharing a bed, a room, or even a hallway with someone who is a heavy snorer probably won’t make you laugh. As you struggle to sleep, you’ll wonder how to stop it.
If you are that person who is snoring, there is a good chance you aren’t getting a good rest either. Persistent, loud snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea.
Fortunately, it can be treated. The team at Hubbard and Leath Dental has a solution for many people dealing with sleep apnea (and the people who live with them). If you live in or near Rochester Hills, contact us so we help you and your loved ones sleep better.
What sleep apnea is
Sleep apnea affects your ability to breathe while you are asleep, according to the Mayo Clinic. As a result, people with sleep apnea snore frequently and loudly throughout the night. This prevents them from having deep, quality, restful sleep. (The same may be said for anyone trying to sleep nearby.)
Because people with sleep apnea have trouble breathing, they also have trouble getting quality sleep. They may wake up often during the night and suffer from sleep deprivation, which can have consequences of its own.
People who are sleep deprived may feel sluggish when they wake up or become groggy throughout the day. They are often more prone to headaches, and they are more likely to have trouble staying focused on work or school assignments.
And people with sleep apnea have double the risk of being in an automobile accident. This is because people with sleep apnea are more likely to drive while drowsy, according an article in Medical Daily on a recent study published in the journal Sleep.
To be fair, everyone snores sometimes, but if your snoring is loud and constant, you may want to do a sleep test to see if you have sleep apnea. (If you aren’t sure if you snore, please talk to someone you love. They will tell you.)
Types of sleep apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea.
1. Obstructive sleep apnea. In this type, the muscles in your throat relax when you are sleep. This blocks the air passing in and out of your lungs. If you have a mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, a dentist can help you.
2. Central sleep apnea. This occurs when your brain does not send the correct signals to the muscles that control your breathing while you sleep.
3. Complex sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea includes a combination of the issues with obstructive and central sleep apnea.
What can a dentist do to help?
A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is used for many sleep apnea patients. The user wears a mask, and this allows the machine to push air into their airways to keep them open. These machines allow the user to breathe easier at night.
As effective as a CPAP can be, not everyone can stand wearing the mask. They may take it off in their sleep or just refuse to wear it because they find it awkward or uncomfortable.
A mouthpiece is one alternative for people with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Our dental team can look at your mouth and determine the best position for your jaw to keep your airways open at night.
With this information, we can create a custom-fitted mouthpiece that will change the position of your jaw while you sleep. This allows you to breathe easier and get deeper, more restful sleep. (And your loved ones probably will, too.)
You should also be aware that many people with sleep apnea are also overweight. Losing weight can help relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea for many people.
The Harvard Medical School Blog explained in a recent post that people who are overweight are more likely to have extra tissue in the back of their throats. This extra tissue is more likely to obstruct their breathing.
A healthier you
We want you to be healthy. We want you (and your loved ones) to sleep better, too.
If you want to wake up feeling refreshed, then please come talk to us. A solution to your snoring and your sleep apnea may be closer than you think.
To schedule an appointment at Hubbard and Leath Dental in Rochester Hills, fill out our online form or call 248.266.2528.