Do you have a heavy snoring problem, or are you sleeping next to someone who does? If so, you know it can ruin a promising night of sleep for everyone around. In addition to the noise, snoring disrupts the sleeper’s breathing patterns and prevents them from engaging in deep, restful sleep. When you/they awake the next morning there is often a feeling of general fatigue and lethargy due to the inability to go into deeper sleep patterns and/or poor oxygen flow to the brain during the night.
You are definitely not alone if you have a snoring problem. In fact, it is estimated that anywhere between 30-50% of the population snores. Fortunately, you can eliminate snoring from your life with help from an experienced dental professional.
Keep reading to learn about the causes of snoring and how our team at Downtown Denver Sleep Solutions can help you find the peaceful night of sleep you’ve longed for.
Are you sleeping next to someone who snores?
Persistent snoring can be a strong indication of sleep apnea. Most sleep apnea is initially identified by a bed partner. Does your bed partner need additional help? Take this sleep observer survey to learn more.
What causes snoring?
Snoring originates in the sleeper’s airway, when the soft tissue surrounding the airway interferes with the airflow. Snoring can range from mild cases where the sound level is low and the sleeper slumbers peacefully, to loud noise that can be heard in adjacent rooms, to harsh snorts that may even wake the sleeper multiple times during the night. During a snoring episode the sleeper may even be heard gasping for breath.
Typical causes of snoring include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), blockage of the nasal passages, weak throat muscles, relaxed muscles and obesity. Other potential causes of snoring include:
- alcohol or drug use
The very mild cases of snoring may not require intervention because they don’t affect the sleeper’s health, but more severe snoring issues may be attributed to sleep apnea. In conjunction with a physician, we can take the first step in finding out the severity of your snoring and determine whether or not you have sleep apnea by taking a sleep study to truly gain an understanding of the nature and extent of your problem.
How can my dentist help my snoring problem?
Your dentist can give you deeper insight regarding the causes of your snoring, as well as how to put an end to it. Our team can help you eliminate snoring by ensuring that you maintain regular airflow as you sleep.
Treating your snoring and sleep apnea will not only turn down the volume for those around you, it will also protect you from future health problems including heart attack, diabetes and stroke.
Contact Downtown Denver Sleep Solutions today to schedule a consultation and find out how you or your loved ones can put an end to snoring.
What is an Oral Sleep Appliance?
An oral sleep appliance is a custom fabricated appliance that will fit over your upper and lower teeth. This device is fabricated so that it will move your lower jaw forward, thereby moving the tongue from the back of the throat. If you’ve ever taken a CPR class and learned about assisted breathing (formerly called mouth-to-mouth breathing) you learned that the first thing you do is open the airway by moving the lower jaw forward. You are doing this to get the bulky soft tissue of the tongue from the back of the throat. It is this same concept that is the function of the oral sleep appliance.
Recently the Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine in a joint statement reported that an oral sleep appliance is the treatment of choice for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea. For patients with severe sleep apnea the first recommended treatment is with a CPAP device. The CPAP is 100% effective in its treatment of apnea. The only issue is that the compliance rate of patients is less than 50%, and the CPAP only works if it’s worn. So for those patients that are unable to tolerate the prescribed CPAP, an oral appliance is the next line of treatment. We have had excellent success helping CPAP intolerant patients find relief and resolution using oral sleep appliances.
In order to get an oral sleep appliance you must first be diagnosed with sleep apnea. Only a physician can make this diagnosis. Following diagnosis, the physician can prescribe the sleep appliance that a dentist would fabricate. We will work with your physician should he or she recommend an oral sleep appliance. Or if you don’t have a physician we will assist you by referring you to one of the qualified sleep doctors that we work with so you receive not only the proper diagnosis, but also proper follow-up to ensure that your sleep therapy is working correctly.
Contact our Denver office today to schedule your next appointment! Dr. Gary Radz and his team are committed to providing patients with comprehensive, personalized care that puts their comfort first each and every time they come in for treatment. Let us give you something to smile about! We’re also happy to serve the surrounding areas of Englewood, Aurora, Lakewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial, and beyond.