What Is Sleep Apnea?
Snoring and chronic sleepiness are both indications that something could be seriously wrong with a person’s breathing during sleep because they indicate an airway that is not completely open while sleeping. Snoring comes from air pressure within the body being forced through a narrow passageway. It’s a sign of a potentially dangerous sleep disorder called sleep apnea.
Why Is Sleep Apnea A Problem?
Sleep apnea requires careful attention and treatment because it’s a potentially life-threatening condition. If an air passage collapses during sleep, it can cause complete or partial blockage of the airway, interrupting sleep patterns. Symptoms of sleep apnea can include drowsiness during the day, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and depression. If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can result in high blood pressure, heart failure, heart attack, and possibly stroke. Other conditions that can arise from sleep apnea include eye problems like glaucoma, complications with medications and surgery, morning headaches, mood swings, memory problems, and nocturia (the need to urinate frequently at night).
What Causes Snoring?
With the National Sleep Foundation estimating that up to half of the U.S. population snores, it might seem like something too normal to be worth mentioning to a doctor, let alone a dentist. However, snoring happens when the airway is obstructed during sleep, whether by the tongue or the soft tissues in the mouth. In many cases, snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, which has a variety of negative effects on the body that range from fatigue all the way to cardiovascular problems.
What Does Snoring Have To Do With My Teeth?
A snoring habit is often paired with mouth breathing, which leaves the mouth dry and more vulnerable to the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Snoring doesn’t always mean sleep apnea, but when it does, an oral appliance can help keep the airway open to facilitate healthier, more restful (and quieter) sleep.
How We Can Help?
Don’t be alarmed if you have found sleep apnea to be a problem for you. This condition affects millions of Americans. It’s our goal to be able to treat every patient troubled by this condition. Dr. Greenbaum focuses on non-invasive procedures that can solve the condition before suggesting surgery.
The first step in treating sleep apnea is to give us a call or send us an email. We’ll schedule a consultation and find a solution for you.