Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Stop snoring! Have you ever screamed that in the night to someone, or heard it said to you? You understand the importance of a good night’s rest, and if you’re not getting it because you’re constantly waking up from the sound of your own snoring, or having someone jab you in the ribs because all they want in their life is for you to just STOP, then you know how troublesome snoring can be.

You might be surprised how many people don’t get the sleep they need because of their snoring, or someone else’s. You can’t wake up ready to take on the world if you’ve been snoring the night away, or if your sleep partner has been sawing wood all night.

It’s called sleep related breathing disorder – or, if you like, SRBD. It happens when the soft tissues at the back of the throat collapse during sleep, and partially close the windpipe. The vibration when the wind passes over is what causes the snoring – that “freight train” sound that keeps you awake, and if you’re a sufferer, wakes you in panic. If you’re not a sufferer, it’s what causes your sleep partner to want to kill you and to feel guilty for hating someone he or she loves.

So, what are you going to do about it?

If you’re on the “listening” end, it’s hard to live with. If you’re the person with sleep apnea, it’s hard to wake up 50 or more times in any given hour, without even realizing that you’re doing it. Loud snoring doesn’t just disturb the other person in the bed; it disturbs the person who’s doing it!

Here’s the thing – it’s not just annoying; it’s a serious problem. Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to heart problems and other health issues. If you think you, or a loved one, has sleep apnea, here are the things you should look for:

  • Poor memory
  • Confusion
  • Excessive sleepiness in the daytime
  • Irritability
  • Night sweats
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Obesity
  • Accident proneness

If this sounds familiar, then perhaps you or your loved one has sleep apnea.

Now you’re wondering, WHAT THE HECK DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MY TEETH?

It’s just this. Sometimes sleep apnea is easily treated with an oral appliance that your dentist can provide. It repositions the jaw, and moves the tongue away from the throat, thereby reducing the obstruction. Sometimes it’s just that simple. Of course, sometimes surgery or breathing devices are needed, but why go the whole mile if it’s not necessary? Your dentist might be able to manufacture an appliance that could correct sleep apnea. And if that’s not warranted, your dentist can still help you get the help you require by referring you to another specialist.

 
Text Copyright © 2015 Louis K. Cheung DDS PS – All rights reserved. Images used under license from Dear Doctor, Inc.