Thursday, March 24, 2016

Snoring or Sleep Apnea?

A good night's sleep has the power to restore the body and enliven the mind. 

What causes snoring? 

Most Common:

  • Sleep Apnea 
  • Congestion
  • Swollen Tonsils
  • Excess Bodyweight
  • Use of Drugs & Alcohol

As many as 50 percent of adults have some type of snoring problem. Snoring is the result of vibration of the soft tissues in your mouth and your throat. When awake, the muscles surrounding these structures tighten, keeping the air passage open. When asleep these soft tissues relax, and lower jaw and tongue drop back, blocking the opening to your airway when you breathe, which causes the soft tissues to vibrate. The sound of those vibrating tissues is what we call snoring.

What you can do to stop snoring?

  • Lose Weight
  • Using a humidifier at night 
  • Applying nasal Strips before bed
  • A customized appliance to treat snoring (Oral appliance made at Dental Office)
  • Diagnosis & Treatment of Sleep Apnea (Physician or Trained Dentist can Diagnose)

What is Sleep Apnea?

A potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious, life threatening disorder that is characterized as a series of episodes in which a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. In this condition, the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. This causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses.

How is Sleep Apnea Diagnose? 

Most people who have sleep apnea don't know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member or bed partner might be the first to notice signs of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually can't detect the condition during routine office visits. Also no blood test can help diagnose the condition. Snoring is a major indicator, but not all symptoms are so obvious-and audible. A dentist can detect the less evident symptoms of sleep apnea through a candid conversation with a patient, in conjunction with an exam, about the patients's recent pains or discomforts. A dentist may suspect a patient suffers from sleep apnea if the patient complains about  lethargy, morning headaches, or dry mouth (typically caused by open mouth breathing during sleep).

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea: 

  • Morning headaches
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability and impaired mental or emotional functioning
  • Excessive snoring, chocking, or gasping during sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
Most dentist have undergone special training for the treatment of sleep apnea and are very skilled in its management using behavioral modification and dental appliances, but a confirmed diagnosis from a sleep medicine specialist is required before any treatment can be administered.

Sleep apnea can be a silent condition, it can go undiagnosed for many years. It is important to keep an open and honest dialog with health care professionals to ensure that conditions such as sleep apnea can be identified and properly treated.