SNORING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER
In fact, 75 million people in the U.S. Suffer from snoring. Of these, 18 million are undiagnosed sleep apnea sufferers. For many, snoring does not involve a serious medical disorder. However, snoring can be a warning sign of a serious health problem where the airway closes during sleep and may even become life-threatening. The tongue plays a major role in snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) because the tongue has a tendency to relapse into the airway when sleeping. Indications of poor sleep include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Headache or TM jaw soreness upon awakening
- Restless or fragmented sleep; gasping for air
- Dozing easily when reading, sitting or driving
- Anxiety with breathlessness
- Loss of interest in sex
- You are always tired and have no energy or drive
- You wake up feeling awful and sometimes with a terrible headache
- You gain weight
- You have trouble concentrating and are not productive
- You fall asleep anytime, anywhere
- You get angry or irritable on a fairly regular basis
- You feel depressed or notice mood changes
IS SOMETHING WRONG?
Normal breathing occurs when air passes through the throat on its way to the lungs. Air travels past the soft, flexible structures such as the soft palate, uvula, tonsils and tongue. In the daytime, muscles surrounding these structures tighten to prevent blockage of the airway. When sleeping, the jaw falls back and, because the tongue is attached to the jaw, it obstructs the airway. This leads to a reduction in air flow, a snoring sound and /or sleep apnea.
Snoring is a breathing noise that occurs while someone is sleeping. The actual snoring sound is produced from the vibration of the soft palate and sides of the throat when air rushes against them. The sound of snoring occurs when the airway collapses and the muscles fail to maintain their normal function.
A few of the medical and dental conditions that can lead to snoring are:
- A small retruded jaw
- Alcohol before retiring
- Airway obstruction
UNDERSTANDING SLEEP APNEA
A person is considered to be a sleep apnea sufferer when they stop breathing for at least 10 seconds up to thirty times or more a night.
Snoring may be indicative of sleep apnea, a cessation of breathing during sleep, which can put a great strain on the cardiovascular system. This is why sleep apnea, left untreated, increases risk of heart attack and stroke.
Besides snoring, other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
ORAL APPLIANCE APPROACH
A conservative treatment is to have a dental appliance made to wear during sleep. Your health is your most priceless possession. It is worth the investment.