Do you often snore at night? If so, you (and subsequently, your significant other) may be experiencing poor sleep. In addition, snoring has often been linked to a serious sleep disorder known as OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. Is this cause for alarm? How do you know when to see your dentist to evaluate your sleep apnea risk?
Chronic Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring occurs when our breathing is partially obstructed during sleep. Air is forced through these obstructed airways, vibrating tissue and causing the sound we associate with snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea develops when the airways are completely blocked by the collapse of overly-relaxed soft tissue, leading to episodes where a patient stops breathing until the brain wakes them again, leading to exhaustion. Often, chronic snoring is a warning sign that you may need treatment.
What Other Symptoms May Manifest?
You may also experience moodiness, difficulty concentrating, and episodes of waking up suddenly gasping for air or choking. You may also notice frequent daytime drowsiness. If one or more of these warning signs applies to you, then schedule an appointment to obtain a thorough diagnosis.
Treating Your OSA
How do we treat the disorder? In many cases we can use an oral appliance. This custom device appears similar to a night-guard and will be worn as you sleep. The appliance actually moves the jaw forward, just enough to prevent the collapse of soft tissue. You then breathe without interruption, avoiding apneic episodes during sleep. If you have any questions about snoring, sleep apnea, or our treatment options, then please contact our office today. Deep, uninterrupted sleep is essential for our quality of life, don’t let lack of good sleep have a negative impact on your life!
ABOUT YOUR CHICAGO, IL DENTIST:
Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding Chicago communities. Schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at (847) 230-9703.