What most people don’t realize about snoring is that it’s actually not normal. If you or your partner realize you’re snoring every night, this isn’t something you should brush off. Snoring is an indicator that you have a blocked airway, and oftentimes is a symptom you have sleep apnea – a potentially life-threatening condition that can lead to premature death from heart disease, stroke, and workplace or car accidents. Those who snore while they sleep lose an hour or more of sleep per night which leads to health problems down the line. In addition, it may cause conflict in a relationship because the snoring is keeping the other person awake at night.
If you snore regularly, don’t ignore this warning sign. James B. Polley, D.D.S. can help you get tested and diagnosed with sleep apnea and then prescribe a treatment option that works for you. We provide our Summerlin sleep apnea patients with oral appliances which are much more comfortable alternatives to CPAP. Please give our dentist office a call to schedule a consultation with sleep dentist Dr. Polley by calling (702) 873-0324 or emailing us today.
What Causes It?
You might wonder just what exactly causes snoring. Snoring occurs when your airway becomes narrow at night. It’s normal for your muscles and gravity to hold your airway open during the day and then at night when you lie down to sleep, gravity no longer pulls open your airway. When you fall asleep and your muscles relax, your airway narrows.
After your airway narrows, airflow becomes more restricted and turbulent, creating vibrations that we hear as snoring. Snoring is a result of many different factors including jaw position, the anatomy of your airway, lifestyle factors, sleeping position, weight, and more.
Is My Snoring Sleep Apnea?
There’s a big difference between snoring at night and snoring with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea doesn’t occur just because your airway is narrow. Sleep apnea occurs when your airway cuts of oxygen completely, causing your brain to wake up to catch your breath. This process happens repeatedly throughout the night, causing your brain to not reach the restorative stages of sleep. It also causes your heart to work harder to keep you breathing and as a result, increases your risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and other health conditions.
Those who have sleep apnea generally wake up over a hundred times a night without knowing it. Usually, they don’t know they make choking noises throughout the night until a sleeping partner brings it to their attention. Fortunately, there are other sleep apnea symptoms to watch out for that don’t require someone to watch you sleep. These include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of motivation
- Memory problems
- Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Waking up feeling unrested
- Mood changes
- Difficulty losing weight
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. In severe cases of sleep apnea, studies suggest these patients have a short-term mortality risk five times greater than those without sleep apnea.
Comfortable Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatments
Treating your sleep apnea is important to reduce your health risks and help you get a better night of sleep. At our Summerlin dental office, we treat sleep apnea and snoring by prescribing an oral appliance. You wear the oral appliance every night and it resembles a nightguard.
The oral appliance repositions your jaw forward so that it can hold your airway open at night. Usually, your airway tissues hang off your jaw and cause obstruction but when you wear an oral appliance, it fixes your jaw’s position so the tissue doesn’t hang. When wearing the oral appliance, you can reduce or eliminate the severity of your sleep apnea or snoring.
If a doctor has diagnosed you with sleep apnea, you dislike using CPAP, suspect you have sleep apnea or have an interest in using an oral appliance, please call our sleep dentist in Summerlin, Dr. Polley to schedule an appointment. Please call (702) 873-0324 or email us to schedule an appointment today.