Snoring occurs when there is an obstruction in your airway during sleep.
The American Dental Association explains that this obstruction can be caused by the tongue or soft tissues in the mouth.
When tissues in the top of the airway hit each other, the vibration that results creates a loud noise.
The loud noise may occur with short pauses in between. This could be an indicator of sleep apnea.
When a patient has obstructive sleep apnea, breathing actually stops for brief moments, and this process can result in damaging effects on the body, such as atherosclerosis and other serious cardiovascular problems.
Sleep apnea and the tendency to snore at night can also be the cause of daytime sleepiness and daily fatigue.
Does Snoring Indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) All The Time?
While snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, other reasons may also cause it, including pregnancy, allergies, congestion, obesity, or even the use of alcohol.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
- Snoring during sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Morning headache
- Restless sleep
- Sore throat
- Waking up from choking or gasping
- Night chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Loud snoring that disturbs your partner’s sleep
How Your Dentist Can Help
If you or your spouse notice a consistent problem at night, mention it to your dentist. Be prepared to explain the pattern of noise that you notice and also episodes of daytime sleep or fatigue.
There are several tests that your dental professional can arrange to keep you safe at night. One of these tests is called a polysomnogram, or sleep study.
During the evaluation, experts analyze your sleeping patterns and your vital signs are monitored over the course of a night.
One of the most efficient ways of treating the loud snoring caused by obstructive sleep apnea is the use of an oral appliance.
This plastic oral device helps to keep your breathing passages open as you sleep.
The other commonly known treatment for more severe cases is the use of the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure device).
This is a mask connected to a tube that gently blows pressurized air through your airways to keep your throat open as you sleep.
Oral Appliance Therapy
This is an excellent way of treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea to help improve your daytime alertness, emotional stability, and concentration.
Oral appliances are highly recommended for people whose obstructive sleep apnea is as a result of a narrow airway or a tongue that falls back into the airway at night, obstructing their breathing.
This device efficiently repositions your jaws and stabilizes your tongue, thereby enlarging the airway and preventing tongue obstruction to promote proper airflow during sleep.
Other than prescribing oral devices, your dentist may recommend other strategies to reduce your snoring at night such as:
- Losing weight
- Consuming little or no alcohol at night
- Avoiding sleeping on your back
- Eliminating or reducing the use of sedatives
There are many options for sleep apnea treatment at Pacific Dental Care in Glendale. Dr. Martirosyan and her staff will be happy to assist you.