Talk to Your Dentist to Get Help With Snoring
Snoring Is Very Common
Did you know that approximately 90 million Americans snore on a regular basis? Snoring might not seem like that big of a deal, but it often points to more serious underlying health problems, including sleep apnea. At Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy LLC in Jupiter, Florida, Steven Burman, DMD, FAGD, MALD, D.ABDSM, regularly works with his patients to address snoring so they can achieve a better night’s sleep. If snoring is interfering with your sleep hygiene, make an appointment by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.
What is snoring?
Snoring is the loud, buzzsaw-like sound that occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in the back of your throat. Whenever you inhale or exhale, the tissues vibrate. Almost everyone snores from time to time, but if you snore regularly, or it causes you to wake up multiple times throughout the night, it could point to a more serious health problem. In addition, snoring can interfere with your spouse or significant others’ sleep, causing strain in your relationship.
What are the symptoms of snoring?
Snoring is often associated with obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that causes the soft tissues at the back of your throat to relax during sleep. When this happens, the tissues can collapse until they block your airflow completely. Your brain senses the sudden lack of air and forces you to wake up and gasp for air (which often results in a choking or gasping sound), and this process can repeat as often as hundreds of times throughout a single night. However, these episodes are over so quickly that you may not remember any of them in the morning.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder. Snoring happens as a result of the narrowed airway and the gasping during those brief moments of wakefulness.
Other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea apart from loud snoring include:
- • Excessive daytime sleepiness
- • Difficulty concentrating
- • Headaches in the morning
- • Insomnia
- • Chronic fatigue
- • High blood pressure
- • Chest pain at night
- • Sore throat
- • Mood changes (depression, irritability)
- • Decreased libido
Many people with sleep apnea are unable to get a truly restful night of sleep because the sleep apnea episodes prevent them from reaching REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the most rejuvenating stage of sleep. Sleep apnea lowers blood-oxygen levels due to hours of ineffective breathing, which is why it can lead to lower energy and psychological symptoms like difficulty concentrating. We also need healthy sleep in order to get the most out of our immune system and manage stress.
Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
Anyone could have obstructive sleep apnea associated with loud snoring, but there are several risk factors that make it more likely:
- • Excess weight: fat deposits around the upper airway can obstruct breathing.
- • Advancing age: sleep apnea becomes more likely with age until it levels off in our 70s
- • Narrowed airway: some people inherit naturally narrow airways or have large tonsils or adenoids that contribute to blocking it
- • High blood pressure (hypertension): both a symptom and a risk factor
- • Chronic nasal congestion: those who have nasal congestion at night are twice as likely to have sleep apnea
- • Smoking
- • Diabetes
- • Sex: men are two to three times more likely than (pre-menopausal) women to have obstructive sleep apnea
- • A family history of sleep apnea
- • Asthma
When should I see a dentist about snoring?
If your partner regularly complains about your snoring habits or you regularly wake up feeling groggy or unrested, make an appointment with Dr. Burman at Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy LLC. Dr. Burman doesn’t diagnose sleep apnea, but he does know how to spot the symptoms and telltale signs.
If Dr. Burman suspects you have sleep apnea, he can refer you to a medical doctor in the area for a sleep study. Following your diagnosis, Dr. Burman develops a treatment plan that improves your sleep hygiene and quality of life.
How is snoring treated?
At Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy LLC, Dr. Burman uses conservative measures of care to address snoring. For example, Dr. Burman might recommend healthy lifestyle changes such as losing weight, sleeping on your side, or propping your head up on an extra pillow or two.
If you’re living with sleep apnea and you don’t like using a CPAP machine, Dr. Burman might prescribe an oral appliance or a tongue retaining device.
If you have a mild or moderate case of sleep apnea, he might also recommend NightLase® therapy, a cutting-edge treatment that tightens the soft tissues at the back of your throat.
Don’t let snoring prevent you from achieving a restful, rejuvenating night’s sleep. Make an appointment at Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy LLC by calling our Jupiter, FL office at (561) 448-0026 or clicking the online booking tool today. Don’t forget to check the map before you head over!