Do you feel tired when you wake up, even after getting a good eight hours of sleep? Does your significant other wake you up and ask you to go sleep on the couch? Have you ever snored yourself awake?
Snoring can keep you and your loved ones from a restful night, and can be indicative of a more serious problem called sleep apnea, which can be extremely dangerous, and even fatal. If you suffer from chronic snoring, your health may depend on you doing something about it. At Ft. Worth Cosmetic and Family Dentistry we may be able to help you find a solution to your snoring problem.
Call our Ft. Worth, TX dental office at (817) 737-6601 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nikki Green and you may be on your way to a good night’s sleep.
Causes of Snoring
Snoring occurs more often in men, especially if they are overweight, but the condition is quite common and can affect anyone. Snoring is usually not a serious condition, but it can be a nuisance to the person sharing your bed and disrupt their sleep pattern as well as your own. Snoring happens when the flow of air through your mouth and nose becomes physically obstructed. There are several factors that may lead to this obstruction, including:
- Obstructed nasal passages – This can be caused by allergies or a sinus infection, which may only lead to you snoring temporarily. It may also stem from a deviated septum or nasal polyps.
- Bad muscle tone in the tongue and throat – A deep sleep, alcohol consumption, some sleeping pills, and even natural aging can lead to these muscles relaxing too much and falling back into your airway.
- Throat tissue – Children with enlarged tonsils or adenoids tend to snore. Overweight people may also have issues with bulky throat tissue.
- Smoking, alcohol, and obesity
Snoring Health Risks
Serious health issues can arise in people who snore habitually. These include fatigue and drowsiness, which will cause your work to suffer and may even lead to a car accident. The most serious health risk associated with snoring is sleep apnea. While snoring is caused by a partial obstruction of the airway, sleep apnea stems from complete obstruction. Sleep apnea can cause fatigue due to frequent waking from sleep that you may not even be aware of, as well as a sleep pattern that keeps you in light sleep, robbing you of the more restorative deep sleep. It leads to interruptions in your breathing that can last anywhere from a few seconds to minutes, which is extremely dangerous, and it puts excess strain on your heart, which can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Snoring does not always signal that a person has sleep apnea, but is one symptom of the condition. There are other symptoms to watch for that also signal a problem with sleep apnea. You may need another person to confirm some of them for you. These symptoms include:
- Pauses that take place while snoring, followed by episodes of choking or gasping
- Extreme sleepiness, especially at work or when driving
- Irritability, depression and mood swings
- Headaches in the morning
- A sore throat or dry mouth when you wake up
- Difficulty staying asleep
We are able to help you with solutions for regular snoring and mild or moderate sleep apnea. If, however, you are diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, you will need to turn to a general practitioner for treatment.
How We Can Help
Dr. Green can provide dental or oral devices that have proven effective in the treatment of excessive snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. There are many different devices available, and the doctor will discuss all of your options with you before helping you choose the right option for yourself. Two of the most widely used options are mandibular advancement devices and tongue retaining devices. The mandibular advancement device looks like a mouth guard you would wear for sports and when worn, forces the lower jaw down and slightly forward. This helps greatly with keeping the airway open to prevent breathing problems. Tongue retaining devices hold the tongue in the correct position to keep the airway open. They require regular dental visits because they need periodic adjustments.
Advantages of Dental Devices for Treatment
Many people who suffer from severe snoring or sleep apnea choose surgical options or use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine when they sleep. Dental devices offer several advantages over these types of treatment. There is no recovery time as there may be with a surgery. Unlike CPAP machines, which may be bulky and noisy, dental devices are quiet, portable, and easy to travel with. Best of all, the devices are comfortable and easy to wear.
Call Us for a Consultation
If you or your loved one have issues with snoring and would like an easy, comfortable treatment option, call our Ft. Worth, TX dental office today at (817) 737-9901 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Green. She is excited to meet you and help you return to sleeping like a baby.