How can snoring be so bad? It’s just a lot of noise, right? Wrong. Sleep breathing disorders are one of the most common health problems in America — and also some of the most serious. Snoring is one of the first indicators that something isn’t right. In other words, for some people, snoring could be a warning sign of a much more serious condition called sleep apnea. Fortunately for you, the doctors at Grand Dental - Aurora are specially trained to recognize signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and can provide dental solutions that may be a good fit for your lifestyle.
First, and most obviously, sleep apnea interrupts your sleep. The word apnea means, literally, “without breath,” and that’s what differentiates sleep apnea from simple snoring. When the snoring stops it is usually because you have stopped breathing. Your body reacts, wakes you up – even though you are usually not even aware of waking – and your breathing starts again with a gasp. This pattern of snoring, breath cessation, waking, and gasping happens over and over again through the night, sometimes hundreds of times, leaving you oxygen deprived and tired.
In fact, one of the main symptoms of sleep apnea is chronic fatigue and that’s dangerous not only for you, but others around you as well. When you are constantly tired, you are, for instance, at a much greater risk for falling asleep behind the wheel of a car. A sleep-deprived person is as high a risk for causing an accident as someone impaired by excessive alcohol consumption.
But dangerous fatigue isn’t the only problem. Sleep apnea has been linked to a variety of serious health risks, including:
While the primary symptom is loud snoring, there are a number of other symptoms to look for such as:
If you or your sleep partner is experiencing any of these symptoms, please give us a call.
We will work with your primary physician to obtain a sleep study when necessary. Usually the first line of action will be to prescribe a forced-air device, a CPAP machine, to help your air passages stay open during the night and keep you breathing. Sometimes people have some difficulty sleeping with these devices because they are bulky, cover the nose and mouth, and make moving around at night uncomfortable. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea but you have difficulty using a CPAP, we offer a custom-made sleep apnea device that fits in your mouth like a nightguard to gently and safely hold your mouth and throat in an ideal position and help you get the rest you need.