Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. It can be a serious condition, leading to daytime fatigue, high blood pressure, and other health issues if left untreated. If you have questions about your snoring or sleep apnea, please call us today to meet with our dental team!
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is often caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the throat during sleep, which can narrow or block the airway and cause vibration in the tissues. This can be a symptom of sleep apnea, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Other factors that can contribute to snoring include obesity, alcohol consumption, and certain medications.
Should I Be Worried About Sleep Apnea?
Receiving effective treatment will usually prevent or resolve serious complications that come from sleep apnea. However, if it is left untreated, sleep apnea can have severe effects on one’s health and well-being. Sleep apnea can also be associated with a higher risk of a wide range of health problems.
Here are some health concerns related to sleep apnea:
- Cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure, stroke or heart disease
- Metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes
- Irritability and a higher risk of depression
- Memory and concentration problems
Why Visit a Dentist for Sleep Apnea?
If you suspect that you might have sleep apnea, or a primary care physician has diagnosed you with sleep apnea through a sleep apnea test, your first step is to visit a dentist.
Many dentists have the right training and skills to give patients the correct treatment for their sleep apnea. Dental sleep medicine dentists, especially, have the methods and prescription medicines to relieve the tension that sleep apnea causes. We can determine and evaluate if you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), jaw pain, and other sleep apnea symptoms.
Here at Pickens Family Dentistry, we have the expertise and tools to help diagnose your sleep apnea. Call us today to schedule your appointment!
Nasal Breathing Exercises and Decongestants
Snoring during sleep can be frustrating for yourself and for those who sleep around you. Snoring can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. People often ask how to stop snoring and research snoring remedies. Sometimes nasal breathing exercises and decongestant medicine can help provide some sleep apnea relief. Try it out yourself:
- Alternate Nostril Breathing: Close your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose. With one finger, block one nostril. Breathe out through the open nostril and then breathe in. Block the other nostril, and then breathe out and in through the open nostril. Repeat this exercise 10 or more times.
- Decongestants: Nasal decongestants can be taken over the counter to help in some cases of snoring or mild sleep apnea. Talk with your dentist about which decongestant might be right for you.
Patients might not realize that sleep apnea can be caused by orthodontic issues in the mouth. When you have a narrow bite or severely crowded teeth, the tongue does not have the room it needs and will fall back, obstruct the airway, and cause trouble breathing.
Invisalign braces are an option to help solve snoring and sleep apnea problems. Even though Invisalign might seem like a long-term fix, it can solve the issue permanently and would be worth it in the end. Talk with our dentists to see if Invisalign might be the perfect solution for your sleep apnea needs.
NightLase therapy is a patient-friendly laser treatment for increasing the quality of a patient’s sleep and reducing snoring.
NightLase uses a laser to stimulate collagen contraction in the tissues of the upper airway. This type of treatment is known to be an easy and comfortable experience. You can expect to experience a warm and tingling sensation in your throat. After the procedure, you can continue with the rest of your day and most patients don’t experience any side effects.
Oral Obstructive Sleep Apnea Device
If you are struggling with snoring or sleep apnea, it’s important to speak with a dental professional about potential treatment with an oral sleep apnea device. This device can help keep your airway open while you sleep, reduce snoring, and improve breathing.
There are a couple of different types of oral obstructive sleep apnea devices that could be used to keep your jaw in position to prevent relaxed tissue from falling over the airway. Our dentists can do tests and evaluate if you are suffering from TMJ symptoms or other factors that are affecting your sleep. Depending on your needs, our dentist will help recommend the best sleep apnea device for you.
Call Us Today to Find Out More about Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Quality sleep is essential to having a healthy life and body. If you feel you may be struggling with your quality of sleep due to snoring or sleep apnea, please call us today to schedule an appointment so we can help you get the sleep you deserve!