Snoring is often the butt of jokes. But if you are a noisy night breather, there may be more going on than a source of embarrassment. There is a strong correlation between sleep apnea and snoring. In turn, sleep apnea can pose significant health risks. Fortunately, various treatments are available, whether you simply want to reduce the sounds you make at night, or you need to treat a more serious underlying condition.
At Chisholm Trail Smile Center in Duncan, OK, Dr. Matthew Bridges partners with a local sleep expert to provide comprehensive care. As a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, he offers patient education and personalized treatment options. As a part of your treatment team, he can help you enjoy more restful sleep, better overall health, and even a longer lifespan!
To learn more about the link between snoring and sleep apnea, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today.
Why do you snore?
Snoring is a common problem, affecting 57% of American men, 40% of women, and 27% of children. It occurs when the soft tissue at the back of your throat vibrates as air passes over it. Light snoring is occasional and totally normal. But if you snore more than three times a week, or you have other symptoms of sleep disruption, you should definitely seek treatment.
These symptoms can include:
- Waking up suddenly with gasps for air
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- High blood pressure
- The need to urinate frequently at night
The Link between Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Not everyone who snores has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but there is a proven link between the two conditions. In particular, very loud snorers are more likely to have OSA. You may suspect that you have sleep apnea if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. However, only a sleep study can provide a definitive diagnosis.
Health Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea
If you suspect that you have OSA, it is important to contact a sleep specialist as soon as possible. Over time, OSA can have drastic consequences for your health. Indeed, if you suffer from sleep apnea, you may be at much greater risk for:
- Heart attack
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Car accidents
- Depression and anxiety
How a Dentist Can Help
It might seem odd to see a dentist for snoring, but who better understands oral anatomy? If you have a severe case, you may require a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, which emits air to keep your throat open at night. More and more, however, doctors recommend oral appliances. These small, discreet devices realign the jaw and allow air to pass freely.
At Chisholm Trail Smile Center, we use our state-of-the-art digital technology to design custom oral appliances. Our designs ensure that your appliance is both comfortable and effective, allowing you to enjoy a better (and quieter) night’s sleep than you may have had in years.
Contact Us to Get Your Snoring under Control
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Bridges’ office today. Reach us online or call us at 580-255-4880.