Snoring is a universal problem. We all do it once in a while and if we share a bed with anyone it ends up with a kick in the legs or an elbow in the ribs followed by “roll over!” No one enjoys snoring, especially when it’s severe enough to disturb your or someone else’s sleep!
At Really Smile Dentistry we see a lot of patients who complain about snoring from their spouse or that they’ve been told they snore really loudly. That’s why we’ve equipped ourselves to handle snoring patients and get them real solutions!
What Causes Snoring
Snoring is a result of the natural relaxation of your body during sleep. The tissues in your neck relax, causing your airway to relax. When your jaw and tongue are involved as well this can lead to partial blockage of airflow. That blockage makes it hard for air to pass, which is where the snoring sounds come from!
For most snorers that’s where the problem ends – they relax when they sleep and their airway gets partially blocked. For others snoring is a symptom of a larger problem – sleep apnea! The biggest difference between snoring and sleep apnea is that in the latter breathing stops completely!
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Like snoring, which has the same causes, sleep apnea involves the blockage of your airway during sleep. When the blockage is complete and breathing stops for about 20 seconds it’s called an apnea. These can be frightening, especially for someone you share a bed with!
Sleep apnea also has a lot of side effects that add up over time. The longer it goes untreated the greater your risks for heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, liver disorders, and daytime fatigue. When these conditions occur your quality of life can decrease sharply, leaving you unhealthy and unhappy!
Risk factors for sleep apnea include being male, being overweight, having a small neck, smoking, alcohol use, and nasal congestion. None of these is a guarantee that you’ll end up with sleep apnea but it can be a pretty good chance that you’ll be suffering if you don’t treat any factors that can be treated!
Treating Sleep Apnea
At our Carmel dentist office we treat sleep apnea by first working with one of our close associated sleep study professionals to have a sleep study performed. Your sleep study can help us determine the severity of your condition or whether there is a serious risk at all!
Once your sleep study is complete we can help you get the exact treatment you need! Our first treatment option, which is used for chronic snorers and patients suffering from sleep apnea alike, is oral appliances. The ones we offer at Really Smile Dentistry are custom made to fit your mouth and help prevent snoring and apneas by comfortably moving the lower jaw forward while you sleep!
By keeping the jaw forward in its natural waking position your airway is left open and unobstructed, allowing you to breath comfortably all night!
For the few patients who don’t find a benefit from oral appliances we can help you find a physician who is able to prescribe treatment using a CPAP machine. CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a system involving a small mask you wear over your nose and mouth at night. It connects to a box that pushes pressurized air into your lungs, allowing continued unobstructed breathing!
Whichever treatment works, you can soon find relaxation and the peace of a good night’s sleep. We want our patients to be able to wake feeling rested so they can greet the day with plenty of energy! If you’re finding yourself losing sleep, waking in the middle of the night, or sleeping next to someone who has symptoms that meet these descriptions then please contact us today!
Getting treatment for snoring and sleep apnea can be easy – just call our Carmel office today at 317-451-4050! You can also request an appointment by filling out our online form! We look forward to seeing you soon!