Could your snoring be something more?
Did you know that most people who snore put off treatment because they think it’s only a nuisance? This is not wise because one’s snoring may be much more than that; it could be a sign of a deadly condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Snoring is caused by the narrowing of the airway while trying to breathe during sleep. But when an airway collapses and closes completely you can experience an episode called an apnea. During an apnea, the tissue around they airway is literally choking you. To relieve the pressure, your brain partially wakes up alerting your body to the low level of oxygen and you gasp for air. You may not even be aware of the problem even though it may occur dozens of times an hour and hundreds of times a night.
When this happens, your body cannot reach the deep level of sleep that it needs to rejuvenate itself both physically and mentally. You wake up in the morning more tired than when you went to sleep. Sleep apnea can leave you feeling irritable and some individuals may even experience personality changes. It takes a toll on your ability to focus as well. Your mind may wander throughout the day, or worse, you could even fall asleep during the day’s most critical tasks, like driving.
When your body routinely suffers from a loss of sleep, the effects can also be life threatening. High blood pressure, weight gain, increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, are all effects of a lack of oxygen for long periods of time while you are trying to sleep.
Fortunately there is treatment for this condition and it can be as simple as an oral appliance that repositions the tongue and lower jaw forward during sleep to maintain an open airway. As dentists trained in dental sleep medicine, we can select, fabricate and fit these oral appliances to help patients breathe freely and obtain a restful night’s sleep.
If you have any questions about snoring or possible Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the treatments available, please give me a call at Dental Sleep Solutions at MidTowne, 616-784-9150 and I will be happy to discuss them with you.