Do you suffer from chronic snoring? Do you wake feeling exhausted and frequently experience daytime drowsiness? These may be signs of a serious sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Over 12 million Americans have trouble sleeping due to sleep apnea. While snoring is common symptom of sleep apnea, they are two very different issues. In today’s blog, your Livonia dentist, Dr. James Stewart, explains the difference between snoring and sleep apnea.
The loud, obnoxious sound we all recognize as snoring results from vibrations of the respiratory structures. The vibrations are caused when the airways are partially blocked and air is forced through.
Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat completely obstruct airflow. When this happen, the brain is starved of oxygen. The brain then wakes up the patient to start the breathing process again. This happens hundreds of times a night, leaving the patient sleep deprived. Without treatment, sleep apnea can increase a patient’s risk of certain medical disorders, including depression, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Snoring is often a symptom, but not a cause, of sleep apnea.
Your family dentist, Dr. Stewart, offers an array of treatment options for patients with sleep apnea and chronic snoring. Dr. Stewart may prescribe a special oral appliance. Similar to a mouth guard, this dental device repositions the jaw, keeping airways open. As a result, patients report a reduction in snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. For patients with severe sleep apnea, we also provide CPAP machines. The patient wears a plastic mask that fits over the nose and mouth. The mask is connected to a machine that forces air into the nose and mouth. This allows for steady breathing and easier sleep.
Simple lifestyle changes can also produce deeper, healthier sleep. Obesity is a leading cause of sleep apnea; so losing weight can sometimes address your OSA symptoms. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, waking and sleeping at the same times, even on weekends. Avoid alcohol or caffeine products in the four hours before bed, and make sure your bedroom provides a conducive sleep environment. Keep the room dark and cool.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Livonia Family Dentist
Are you having difficulty sleeping due to chronic snoring or sleep apnea? Make an appointment with Livonia family dentist Dr. Stewart for a diagnosis and to discuss treatment options. Contact our 48154 dentist office. Schedule a visit today by calling (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Livonia, Farmington, Farmington Hills, and surrounding areas.