Are you Snoring?
Are you a loud sleeper, keeping yourself and your significant other awake at night? Do you wake up feeling groggy and not as well rested as you feel you should be? As a common condition, snoring is often overlooked, especially if it is habitual. Usually, it’s nothing more than a nuisance, but it may be a disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. At County Dental at Yorktown Heights, we will provide you with the latest information on sleep apnea to encompass all aspects of your oral health.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is most often caused by a few common factors. Obstructed nasal airways can cause snoring due to things such as a sinus infection. Deformities like a deviated septum, which is a structural change in the wall that separates your two nostrils, can also lead to airway obstruction and snoring. Poor muscle tone in your throat and tongue can also be an issue that causes snoring. Poor muscle tone can result from deep sleep, alcohol consumption, sleeping pills, and normal aging. Bulky throat tissue can also cause snoring, and is very prone to people who are overweight.
Large tonsils and adenoids within children can also cause them to snore. In addition, a long soft palate or a long uvula (the dangling tissue in back of the mouth) can narrow the opening from the nose to the throat. When these structures vibrate and bump against one another the airway becomes obstructed, causing snoring.
More than What it Seems
Excessive snoring may be more than what it seems. You may have a condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. OSA is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires medical attention, when it is in a severe stage. These high risks of undiagnosed OSA include heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart disease and decreased libido. In addition, OSA causes daytime drowsiness that can result in accidents, lost productivity and interpersonal relationship problems. The symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe. One in five adults has at least mild case of sleep apnea, and one in fifteen adults has at least a moderate case of sleep apnea.
There are many treatment options for OSA that County Dental at Yorktown Heights can help you. Some non-medical treatments include a simple change of personal habits, such as avoiding the use of sleep sedatives or a change in sleeping positions. Avoiding consumption or alcohol or caffeine, and refraining from heavy meals within two hours or bedtime can also help. Weight loss may be another option for patients with bulky throat tissue.
There is also the option of an Oral Appliance, which is a molded device that is placed in the mouth at night to hold the lower jaw and bring the tongue forward. By bringing the jaw forward, the appliance elevates the soft palate or retains the tongue to keep it from falling back in the airway and blocking breathing. Other options such as a C-PAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and Bi-PAP (Bi-Level) is an effective treatment for patients with moderate OSA and the first-line treatment for those diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. For more severe cases, surgery may be an option.
Do you have OSA?
County Dental at Yorktown Heights wants to ensure that you are well-rested and healthy. We have provided you with a list of questions you should ask yourself, to see if you may have OSA.
County Dental asks:
- Do you snore with pauses of breathing?
- Do you have excessive daytime drowsiness?
- Do you gasp or choke while sleeping?
- Do you have restless sleep?
- Do you have morning headaches?
- Do you have excess weight around your neck?
If you have answered “yes” to any of the following questions, you may have a mild case OSA. Talk to our doctors here at County Dental at Yorktown Heights, to see if you may require treatment. We care about your oral health, and will continue to provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to stay healthy and happy.
Contact County Dental at Yorktown Heights at (845) 437-4380 or online if you have any questions about Sleep Apnea treatment.
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