Loud snoring by you or someone you love means one thing: no one is sleeping well! You’re either being kept awake or being jabbed in the ribs and told to roll over – not fun. At Overmeyer Family Dental we’re proud to be able to offer you several solutions to treat snoring!
Part of treating any loud, chronic snoring problem is testing for sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that can have serious long term health effects! If you come to our Orlando dentist office for help we’ll be sure to investigate sleep apnea to be sure we can rule it out. Either way, we’ll have you sleeping soundly – and silently – before you know it!
What Is Sleep Apnea?
When you sleep all of your muscles relax. This includes the soft tissue of your throat. Normally this doesn’t pose any problem but for some patients that relaxing in the throat can cause airway obstruction that causes complete interruption in breathing! Those pauses can last several seconds – usually 10 to 20 – and are called apneas.
Snoring is caused by the same relaxation of throat tissue but involves only partial blockage. While sleep apnea almost always involves loud snoring it isn’t the same the other way around – you can be a snorer without suffering from sleep apnea.
You’re at risk for sleep apnea if you’re overweight, a smoker, a heavy drinker, have a small neck, or have a family history of sleep apnea, among other potential causes. You can have it for years without noticing until you finally start sharing a bed or spending more time sleeping on your back!
Over time sleep apnea can lead to serious health conditions. You could end up with high blood pressure, increased risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, headaches, and other serious conditions that could lead to premature death! Don’t take sleep apnea lightly!
Treating Sleep Apnea And Snoring
We can treat snoring and sleep apnea fairly easily! In order to determine which treatment is right for you we’ll need to conduct a sleep study and a full exam to diagnose you. Once we know you have sleep apnea (or not) we’ll make a decision together on what course of treatment you’d prefer.
Sleep apnea patients can benefit from a CPAP machine immediately. CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, uses a facemask that connects to a small box to force a continued flow of air into your lungs while you sleep. The pressure helps keep your airway open and is almost universally successful at treating sleep apnea.
CPAP machines can be inconvenient, and many patients who have tried them find them difficult to get used to. If you don’t want to try a CPAP machine or have found them difficult to use in the past we have a full range of oral appliances that can also deliver great results!
Our oral appliances can treat both snoring and sleep apnea – it’s just a matter of deciding which one you’d prefer!
We offer two different snoring and sleep apnea oral appliances: Silent Nite and the Tap3. Both do a great job at treating snoring and sleep apnea and work along the basic principle of holding your lower jaw and tongue in a position that won’t block your throat!
Your airway becomes blocked due to soft tissue collapse but it’s aggravated by your tongue and lower jaw. By using one of our oral appliances to pull your jaw forward and hold it in a comfortable, natural position you’ll be comfortable, snore-free, and likely experience sleep apnea relief as well!
Don’t Wait Another Day!
Sleep apnea and snoring are both annoying, but sleep apnea can be serious! If you or someone you love is suffering from one of these two conditions get them help without delay! Snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea, especially if there are long pauses between breaths. You can’t eliminate sleep apnea but you can treat it and avoid the serious side effects later in life!