But what if loud snoring – either yours or your partner’s – is preventing you from getting the sleep you desperately need? Chronic loud snoring could be a sign of a potentially serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
But what exactly is sleep apnea? And how can the Yuba City Dentistry Group provide relief?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops for repeated periods of time (up to 10 seconds or more) during sleep. During these periods of reduced or blocked airflow to the lungs, blood-oxygen levels in the body may reach dangerous levels.
This occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat of some patients relax, narrowing or closing the airway and restricting the amount of incoming air. The brain recognizes that you’re not getting enough air and briefly wakes you, in an attempt to reopen your airway.
A person with sleep apnea may wake 50 or more times per hour – without even realizing it! These instances (known as micro-arousals) prevent the person from reaching deep and restful sleep. That’s why the person rarely feels well-rested, even after what appears to be a full night’s sleep.
Additionally, the loud snoring that often accompanies sleep apnea disturbs whoever can hear it, robbing him or her of proper sleep as well.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a very serious disorder that can even be potentially life-threatening. Besides preventing proper rest, sleep apnea can lead to serious heart problems and other complications.
If you or someone you love suspects the possibility of sleep apnea, you should make an appointment with your dentist or physician as soon as possible.
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, your dentist may be able treat it using an oral appliance that is designed to hold the lower jaw in proper position while you sleep. By moving the tongue away from the back of the throat, there is less chance of obstruction and your air passages remain clear.
Many patients appreciate this form of treatment as it is far less invasive than alternatives, which include wearing complicated breathing devices or even surgery.
If you fear you or your loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to call the Yuba City Dentistry Group today. We’d be happy to set up an appointment to answer any questions – and help get back the good sleep that you desperately need.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Consultation