Do you or your significant other have trouble sleeping due to your chronic snoring? What may seem like a minor issue to some can actually lead to poor rest and be a potential warning sign of something much more serious. At Ft. Worth Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, Dr. Nikki Green answers questions about what you can to do to rest easier.
Answering Your Questions About Common Sleep Issues
Question: Why do we snore?
Answer: The noises we associate with snoring occur when air is forced through a partially blocked airway. This vibrates the soft tissues in the throat and the back of the mouth. Factors behind this include obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption, or a deviated septum.
Question: Can this be a warning sign of a more serious disorder?
Answer: Yes. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, develops when air passages become completely blocked. The patient then stops breathing, depriving the brain of oxygen. The brain wakes the patient up to start breathing again. For some, this cycle plays out hundreds of times every night, leading to daytime drowsiness. Symptoms include snoring, waking up choking or gasping for air, and depression. Ignoring symptoms can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Question: What can I do reduce my sleep apnea risk?
Answer: There are actually steps you can take to reduce both your sleep apnea risk and your snoring episodes. If you’re overweight, try dropping pounds with diet and exercise. In addition, sleep on your side, quit smoking, and try to limit your consumption of alcohol before bed. You should also make sure your bedroom has an environment conducive to good sleep. This means your room should be dark, cool, and free of unnecessary distractions, such as TV or computers.
Question: What treatment options does Dr. Green offer?
Answer: Surgery isn’t always the best option for dealing with sleep issues. Dr. Green offers an alternative with oral appliances. Similar in appearance to a mouthguard, this unique device repositions the jaw to keep airways open. You sleep better, quieter, and enjoy more productive days.
Looking for treatment that improves your ability to sleep? Then talk to Dr. Knight about our oral appliance treatment options.