Snoring keeping others up at night? How sleep apnea may be the cause

Sleep ApneaEveryone has trouble sleeping from time to time with fitful nights of unrest and drowsy mornings. While there are multiple reasons for someone to have trouble sleeping, sleep apnea is one of the more dangerous reasons. People who struggle with sleep apnea may keep others awake with their snoring but are also at a great health risk. What people may not realize is that dental practices have a solution for sleep apnea.

How sleep apnea starts

Sleep apnea is much more common than some realize as the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project finds that obstructive sleep apnea affects at least 25 million adults in the U.S. alone. People may misunderstand that sleep apnea is more than just snoring and keeping other loved ones in the house up at night. There are multiple health risks that can have long-term repercussions on one's daily life. Mayoclinic.com lists signs and symptoms of sleep apnea to include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath
  • Consistently waking up with a dry mouth, sore throat or headaches
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, attention problems and irritability

Since an individual with obstructive sleep apnea can stop breathing for seconds to minutes at a time, treatment is crucial. In small amounts or lower sound levels, snoring is a natural part of one's sleep cycle. With sleep apnea, an individual will find it difficult to stay awake at work, at home or while driving. The causes of sleep apnea vary per type of sleep apnea and the individual. Mayoclinic.com explains that causes of sleep apnea include:

  • Excess weight
  • Having a thicker neck circumference
  • Having a narrowed airway
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • Having nasal congestion

While some of these causes are unavoidable, people need to keep an eye out for the signs of sleep apnea. If left untreated, the breathing cessation at night can become severe and cause extensive damage. One of the main problems is that a person with sleep apnea cannot get a good night's sleep.

A comfortable treatment for comfortable sleep

There are a few options for sleep apnea that an individual can choose. One form of treatment is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, also known as CPAP. The CPAP delivers air to the individual, while he or she sleeps, through a mask the person wears at night. The mask can be cumbersome and uncomfortable for many, while the CPAP machine can be loud as well.

Fortunately, there is another treatment option in the field of dentistry known as an oral appliance. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, AADSM, explains that “an oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer.” Each oral appliance is custom-made to a mold of the patient's teeth in a dental lab. Each oral appliance is slightly different and will fit the corresponding patient correctly.

The appliance will not cause discomfort and is easy to take on a trip. Patients will be able to receive a good night's sleep, feel refreshed in the morning and know that their sleep apnea is not going to be an issue. There is no need to let sleep apnea continue to cause more problems in you or a loved one's life.

For more information on sleep apnea and the possible treatment options, do not hesitate to call our Sterling office and schedule an appointment. We will help find the perfect treatment for you or your loved one so you can continue to lead a comfortable life.

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