Is it “just snoring” or something else? Give snoring and scary sleep apnea a rest with effective treatment
We all likely snore at some point in our lives due to nasal congestion, sleep posture and position. These and other factors give rise to that irritating honking and snorting. Primary, irregular snoring that is not secondary to another medical condition is generally not a cause for concern. However, primary snoring that is chronic can stress relationships with partners and other family members.
Additionally, snoring can be a sign of a serious medical condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
Fortunately, Dr. Kurt W. Knechtel, DMD, of Longmont Dental in Longmont, Colorado, effectively treats chronic snoring and sleep apnea.
The problem with OSA
Obstructive sleep apnea is serious because it is characterized by tissues that obstruct or block the airway during sleep. When this happens, OSA sufferers awaken abruptly with a jerk, gasp, and snort. Snoring secondary to OSA is generally louder than primary snoring. And Dr. Knechtel’s apnea patients may also note the following:
- Persistent daytime fatigue
- Frequent sore throat and dry mouth
- Mood changes
- Chronic headaches
- Cognitive issues
Untreated sleep apnea can put sufferers, and their coworkers and passengers, at risk of being involved in on-the-job or road accidents due to constant fatigue caused by the inability to get restful sleep. As you might imagine, the pattern of sleeping and waking due to disordered breathing puts a significant strain on your organs. Untreated OSA puts individuals at elevated risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and impaired liver function (among other severe conditions). In conjunction with providers such as family physicians and sleep medicine specialists, it is critical for professionals like Dr. Knechtel to determine the true nature of your snoring and other symptoms. From there, we can select the best therapy to resolve these symptoms and to restore your quality of life, and prevent the host of dangerous complications.
If snoring is secondary to OSA, patients may benefit from the “gold standard” in treatment: CPAP therapy. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. Air is delivered continually to the patient when they wear a mask. The mask is attached to a flexible hose, which sends air from the connected CPAP machine to the patient. CPAP is a predictably and reliably effective way to resolve sleep-disordered breathing as long as patients wear the mask as directed.
Patients who are not compliant with CPAP therapy may benefit from oral appliance therapy, available at the advanced dentist’s office like Longmont Dental. These appliances may also be appropriate for patients with primary snoring, not attributed to another disease. The machine is designed to fit your mouth. When patients slip these devices into their mouths, the jaws are repositioned. In doing so, oral tissues are also moved. So, these tissues no longer block the airway when they relax as the patient is sleeping.
Snoring may be just that, a massive nuisance that can cause resentment among family members. Or snoring can also be a sign of a severe underlying problem like sleep apnea. Do not sleep on prompt treatment. Contact us today at (720) 815-4733 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Knechtel.
Do you snore excessively? Do you suffer from daytime fatigue? Do you awake during the night with shortness of breath? You may suffer from the life-threatening sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. About 1 in every 15 Americans suffer from sleep apnea and it is a problem that many don’t even realize they might have. But what does this have to do with dentistry? Because sleep apnea is caused by an airway obstruction, the disorder can be treated through the mouth. The Thorton adjustable positioner, or Tap appliance is one of the more popular ways to treat sleep apnea. When the jawbone yes lax, the tongue and soft tissue obstruct the airway. The tap appliance advances the jaw bone, allowing the air to flow freely and making sleep more restful throughout the night. If you think you might suffer from sleep apnea, talk to your dentist today about possible treatment options.