Does your partner consistently ask you to seek treatment to stop snoring? Snoring is disruptive to more than just your partner’s sleep cycle. In some cases, it can even pose a risk to your overall health. When snoring indicates a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, we believe good oral health is a pathway to better systemic well-being, and through custom sleep apnea treatment, we can help you stop snoring and enjoy the peaceful, deep rest you need and deserve.
WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
“Apnea” stems from a Greek word that means “to stop breathing,” or “the absence of breath.” Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to repeatedly stop breathing while you sleep because oral and throat tissues block your airway. As the airway closes, the obstruction results in loud snoring, then a moment of silence as you stop breathing completely. Eventually, your body will wake up enough to start breathing again, and while you might not be conscious of the interruptions, they can prevent you from entering the deep, restorative stages of sleep that you need.
HOW DOES IT POSE A RISK TO MY OVERALL HEALTH?
Sleep apnea deprives you of two necessities: oxygen and sleep. When you suffer from sleep apnea, you can stop breathing hundreds of times in a single night, yet still believe that you had a good night’s sleep. Over time, oxygen and sleep deprivation can tax your cardiovascular and other vital systems, increasing your risks of chronic issues, such as:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory issues
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Mental health issues
- And more
IF I SNORE, DOES THAT MEAN I HAVE SLEEP APNEA?
Snoring is indicative of obstructive sleep apnea, but not everyone who snores experiences the sleep disorder. The sound can be generated by any airway obstruction, and in minor cases, it will stop if the patient switches sleeping positions. If snoring happens consistently, however, we advise scheduling an examination to determine if there is an underlying cause.
IF I SLEEP ALONE, HOW WILL L KNOW IF I HAVE SLEEP APNEA?
Many patients are made aware of sleep apnea by the complaints of an annoyed sleeping partner. If you sleep alone, however, then there are signs you can watch for during the day that could warn you of sleep troubles, such as:
- Excessive daytime fatigue
- Falling asleep at inappropriate times
- Trouble concentrating or remembering details
- Mood swings and/or unusually-high irritability
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth or a sore throat when you wake up in the morning
- Chronic headaches and migraines
IS AN ORAL APPLIANCE BETTER THAN CPAP?
If you’ve already been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, then you might already rely on a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to prevent airway blockage. For many patients, the loud machinery and cumbersome face mask can make sleeping more difficult, rather than more effective. As an alternative, Dr. Gorman and Dr. Yassa offer a convenient, custom-designed oral appliance similar to a sports mouth guard. The appliance can be worn comfortably while you sleep, and will be designed to hold your lower jaw slightly forward to prevent tissues from collapsing into your airway.
At Gorman Dental Care in Santa Clarita/Valencia, CA, Dr. Gorman and his talented, dedicated staff are proud to provide a full range of family and cosmetic dental services, as well as advanced dental implant placement and restorations. Whatever your dental needs, we have the experience and technology to help you enjoy a bright, beautiful, healthy smile once again! To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gorman, or for answers to questions about our practice, please call our dental office in Santa Clarita, CA today at (661) 232-9692.