Snoring might seem like a minor nuisance, even a joke, but it’s not. It might be a sign that you have sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition. And even if it’s just snoring, it might be interfering with your sleep and those around you, resulting in serious conflict. But the good news is there is a comfortable, convenient, effective treatment for snoring.
Do you want to learn how you and those around you can finally sleep peacefully without surgery, without masks, and without pumps? Please call (910) 392-6060 for an appointment at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry in Wilmington, NC today.
Concerns about Snoring
Many people think it is not a serious issue, but it is. There are many risks associated with it, including hardened arteries, car accidents, and marital problems.
Snoring causes vibrations in the airway. These vibrations do more than make sound, they can cause trauma to your body, including the large arteries leading from your heart to your brain. This trauma causes tiny injuries to the arteries, resulting in the formation of scars. The scars cause the arteries to harden and can collect cholesterol from the blood, resulting in arterial plaque. This narrows the airways, raises blood pressure, and can lead to strokes.
Another problem is that when you snore you just don’t get enough oxygen. Lack of oxygen and the sound of snoring disrupt your sleep, resulting in daytime sleepiness. Snorers are about 50% more likely to report falling asleep at the wheel.
Finally, it can lead to serious marital problems. In couples where one person is a snorer, fights are more likely because neither person is capable of being rational. Many people resort to violence as a way to deal with a snoring partner.
But the most serious risk of snoring is sleep apnea.
What Causes Snoring and Sleep Apnea
When you are awake and standing or sitting upright, your airways are wide open and air flows freely through. But when you lie down, gravity pulls on your airway, especially your tongue and throat. When you fall asleep and muscles relax, causing the airway to narrow.
A narrow airway can’t let air through as smoothly, leading to a turbulent airflow. This turbulent airflow causes the tissues of your airway to vibrate, which creates the sound of snoring.
In sleep apnea, the airways completely collapse, cutting off air to the lungs and brain. The brain responds to the oxygen shortage by waking slightly, just enough to resume breathing.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are many potential treatments for snoring and sleep apnea. You can try at-home treatments like lifestyle changes. Giving up smoking and drinking alcohol works as a snoring treatment for many people. Changing your sleeping position can also be an effective treatment for snoring.
But before you consider surgery for snoring treatment, look first at oral appliance therapy, which can work for either snoring or sleep apnea. An oral appliance is a nonsurgical snoring treatment that is a simple device you put in your mouth before going to bed. The goal in oral appliances is to keep the airway open. Since the jaw is the primary bone that supports the soft tissue of the airway, many oral appliances work by changing the position of your jaw. Others work by changing the position of the tongue, soft palate, or other soft tissues.