You are probably already pretty familiar with the sound of snoring. We have all heard it before from our loved ones or even our pets, and when portrayed comically on television through cartoons, it can seem to be as natural as a sneeze. Unfortunately, the reality of it is that not all snoring can be so easily dismissed. While sometimes it can be attributed to something like seasonal allergy congestion, sometimes snoring can signify something else. Especially if you sleep near someone who snores loudly, you both may be missing out on precious sleep. David Crumpton, DDS understands how distressing it can be and may know of a way to reduce snoring.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Many people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can recognize it primarily through loud snoring. This can affect 4% of the population and is the most common type of sleep apnea. You may experience chest pain at night, high blood pressure, and a sore throat when you wake up. You are the most at risk if you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or are significantly overweight. It is not exclusive to adults, either, as a percentage of children suffer from sleep apnea as well.
Snoring occurs when the muscles in your neck relax so much that your airway can become closed off. The more narrow the path, the more forceful the air is pushed. The more the tissue vibrates, the louder you snore. After snoring, you may stop breathing for several seconds. Your body should wake you up, however, simply by forcing you to take a breath. The number of times you are woken up is what determines the severity of sleep apnea. While some may experience infrequent interruptions, there are others with more serious cases who can wake up thirty times an hour because they cannot breathe.
How Do I Treat Sleep Apnea?
Most of us have heard of someone who needed to use a CPAP machine for breathing. It is a very effective treatment for sleep apnea because it blows air down your throat all night to keep your airway open while you are sleeping. A mask has to be worn over your nose and mouth so it may be difficult to switch positions. Many may not enjoy the confinement of an apparatus on their face, however, or the stomach discomfort that comes from being fed air.
A Mandibular Repositioning Device looks a lot like the mouthguards that are used in your favorite spots. This is used to move your lower jaw forward to make it easier for you to breathe. Another type that is less commonly used is a tongue-retaining device which works like a splint to keep your tongue away from the airway. Both work quite well at helping to keep your airway open so you can get plenty of fresh air while you sleep.
Using dental devices to help with your breathing at night can help control sleep apnea for a long time. Especially when compared to the typical surgical procedures generally used for treating sleep apnea, the devices can be a much more favorable option for many patients who snore. If you would like to find out more about how a device therapy program may be right for you, please give us here at David Crumpton, DDS a call at 817-678-7395 to schedule an appointment.
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301 Trophy Branch Dr., Suite 100, Trophy Club, TX 76262