Sleep Apnea

Does it Matter if I Snore?

Snoring is a very common problem, and it should never be ignored. Some have estimated that over 80 million American patients regularly snore. 70% or more of these situations involve patients who snore loudly and may be experiencing more serious health issues. Excessive snoring can indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The word “apnea” means “without breath.” People suffering from sleep apnea are literally suffering through as many as hundreds of episodes of not breathing within one night. Some of these episodes can last for up to a minute. These episodes are caused by a mechanical obstruction in their airways. Soft tissue that obstructs these airways is what produces the snoring. The most serious problem is that this restricted airway limits the flow of oxygen to the brain and the lungs.

Sleep Apnea may cause Physical Strain

Repeated instances of pauses in your breathing will ultimately lower the oxygen saturation levels of your blood. This, in turn, will produce high blood pressure. For your body to experience deep, restful sleep, it is important for your body to experience decreased systemic activity. When the heart is not allowed this type of rest, it is stressed in dangerous ways. This will eventually bring about serious heart-related problems.

Sleep apnea also hinders any serious weight loss. A consistent struggle with breathing and the resulting oxygen levels will eventually produce a hormonal imbalance. A lack of deep sleep will cause a decrease in the hormone which signals to the brain that the stomach is full. This causes the hunger-signaling hormone to dramatically increase. The hormonal imbalance that is consequently produced will produce a vicious cycle of overconsumption of calories and poor nutritional decisions which produce additional weight gain.

Treat More Than the Snoring

Many treatments are offered which treat only the symptom of snoring. This is akin to turning off a fire alarm but walking away from the fire. The snoring is usually an indicator of more serious health issues. You must confront the sleep apnea.

Anti-snoring mouthpieces will help you quit snoring by simply moving the lower jaw forward. If you are going to actually confront the real problem, you must deal with the actual airway. At Comprehensive Family Dentistry of Wexford Gardens, you can be custom-fitted with an oral appliance that will address the sleep apnea and not simply the snoring. Treating the sleep apnea will help the patient obtain a real, restful sleep that will reduce the risk of a whole list of serious health issues.