Simple snoring can sometimes be stopped by changing your sleeping position or treating your sinuses. However, snoring can be a symptom of a common but serious sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea happens when the soft tissues of your mouth and throat soften and collapse into your airway. This causes an obstruction to your breathing. Your breathing can be obstructed multiple times in one night. It is usually not enough to wake you up, but it is enough to prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Your snoring can also impact your partner’s sleep. The stress that sleep apnea puts your body through can increase your risks for health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Screening for sleep apnea
Your dentist may be able to determine if your snoring is caused by OSA. He can ask you a series of questions. He may also be able to see physical signs in your throat and mouth. You may be referred to a sleep specialist to determine if the sleep disorder is to blame.
Your dentist can custom fit you for an oral appliance that you can wear while you sleep. The appliance works as a mouth guard. It will position the jaw and tongue in a way to prevent the tissue from collapsing into the airway.
In severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist may recommend a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (C-pap) machine. A C-pap machine constantly flows air through an air compressor attached to a mask. The airflow keeps your airway unobstructed and makes sure you get enough oxygen while you sleep.
Your dentist can help you stop snoring
Dr. Quinn Smith is here to help determine if your snoring is sleep apnea. Schedule a consultation at Pecan Tree Dental in Grand Prairie, TX by calling (972) 262-5111.