Do You or Your Partner Snore During Sleep?
Over 30 million Americans snore on a regular basis. What many don’t realize is that snoring can often be a dental issue, but Infinity Dental of Fox Lake offers a range of treatments for snoring and sleep apnea.
Snoring is often not just the result of a stuffy nose or bad sleeping position, it can also be the sign of a health concern called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which has been linked to a greater risk of stroke, heart disease, and other physical health issues.
Patients who suffer from OSA actually stop breathing momentarily during sleep, depriving their organs of much-needed oxygen, and then restart with a loud snore.
Sleep apnea is diagnosed by a medical professional and more severe cases are treated with the CPAP appliance. However, oral appliance therapy has proven to be effective for mild to moderate cases and may be recommended as an alternative for those who are intolerant of the CPAP.
There are several reasons people snore or suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):
- Age: As you get older you are more likely to snore
- Weight: Overweight and obese people are more likely to snore and develop sleep apnea
- Lifestyle: Drinking, smoking, and sedative use increase your risk for snoring
- Sleeping Position: You are more likely to snore if you sleep on your back than on your side or stomach
- Diabetes and other medical conditions
OSA is frequently the result of a blocked airway and is more common in patients who are overweight, have a large neck, and/or have enlarged tonsils. OSA can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, but there are several key symptoms that many experience and that should be brought to the attention of your doctor or dentist:
- Loud snoring- sometimes only noticed by family members
- Morning headaches
- Feeling groggy or unable to concentrate, even after a “good night’s sleep”
- Sleepiness during the day or while driving
- Insomnia or frequently waking up at night
- A consistent sore or dry throat in the morning
Oral Appliance Therapy in Fox Lake
Dr. Tom Prendergast of Infinity Dental recommends oral appliance therapy for many patients who snore or have mild to moderate OSA. In some cases, patients may perform a test at home which can be analyzed by their physician and coordinated with Dr. Prendergast for treatment with an oral appliance, or snore guard.
An Oral Appliance can:
- Repositions the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate, or uvula
- Stabilizes the lower jaw and tongue
- Increases the muscle tone of the tongue and throat
While the CPAP machine is often recommended and considered the “gold standard” for treating OSA, oral appliance therapy can also be very effective because of higher rates of compliance among patients. Most patients prefer oral appliance therapy, find it a more comfortable option, and are therefore more likely to use it consistently.
OSA can be a debilitating health issue when unresolved, affecting daily life for many as well as posing greater health risks.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Do oral appliances really work for sleep apnea?
Oral appliances have been shown to help patients with sleep apnea. They reposition a patient’s jaw so that their lower teeth are pushed forward. This opens up airways, allowing patients to breathe without blockages throughout the night.
Is it safe to go under anesthesia with sleep apnea?
Going under anesthesia or sedation can be dangerous for a patient with sleep apnea. Anesthesia slows down breathing and may have stronger effects on patients with sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea may also be slower and struggle to regain consciousness post-sedation.
How many apneas per hour is severe?
Having more than five apneas per hour is concerning and abnormal. Patients with severe sleep apnea may experience more than 30 apneas per hour.
What is the best position to sleep with sleep apnea?
If you struggle with sleep apnea, it is recommended that you sleep on your side or stomach. This opens up airways, allowing you to breathe easier. The right side is preferred because it also helps with blood flow.
Can you naturally cure sleep apnea?
It may not be possible to cure sleep apnea. However, lifestyle changes can help lessen sleep apnea symptoms like snoring:
- Losing weight
- Sleeping on your side or stomach
- Avoiding tobacco or alcohol
- Sleeping with the head elevated
How long does sleep apnea last?
Some patients can experience sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a chronic condition. Although sleep apnea is not completely curable; you can manage sleep apnea with professional help. Professional treatment can reduce the frequency and occurrence of sleep apnea episodes.
Schedule a Dental Exam & Sleep Apnea Evaluation
If you suffer from snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, schedule a consultation at Infinity Dental today. A quick and easy snore appliance could mean more restful nights for you and your partner. Discuss your concerns during a visit with Dr. Prendergast in his Fox Lake dental office, and restore your health with a better night’s sleep!