Your spouse and children say you snore--all the time and really loudly. Should you be concerned? After all, what's a little noisy breathing? The truth of the matter is that snoring may represent a sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It threatens the health of more than 40 million Americans, including children, says the National Sleep Foundation. If you have this serious problem, Dr. Scott Sutton and Dr. Shawn Monahan, your Pheonix and Scottsdale, AZ dentists, can help. Snore less, and be healthy: these are achievable goals.
What is sleep apnea?
More than snoring, sleep apnea actually is breathing cessation caused by blockage of your airway. As some people sleep, the muscles at the back of the throat relax, covering the windpipe. Hence, we have the vibration called snoring, but also, breathing stops--up to once a minute, say experts at the National Sleep Foundation.
The resulting obstruction and oxygen deprivation, officially known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, results in:
- Chronic fatigue and daytime sleepiness
- Memory and concentration problems
- Loss of libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Night sweats
- Type-2 diabetes
While men over the age of 40 seem more prone to OSA, women and children may suffer from it, as do smokers and people who abuse alcohol.
What to do
See your primary care physician. He or she may recommend an in-office or at-home study of your sleep patterns. If sleep apnea is confirmed, you may need nightly treatment with a CPAP machine. This bedside apparatus opens the airway with a continuous stream of air delivered via nasal mask.
For some individuals, however, CPAP therapy is intolerable (they are claustrophobic) or even too invasive. If this is the case for you, your Pheonix and Scottsdale dentist can help.
Dr. Sutton and Dr. Monahan offer oral appliance therapy. Customized precisely to fit your oral cavity, this comfortable acrylic appliance places the lower jaw in a more forward position. Worn at night, the appliance effectively holds the airway open, eliminating the obstruction which causes snoring and episodes of interrupted breathing.
Learn all about it
Oral appliance therapy works for mild to moderate cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. So if you're having problems with snoring and its associated effects, why not contact Waterfront Dentistry in Scottsdale or Metro Refresh Dentistry in Phoenix for more information? Your nightly rest, interpersonal relationships and overall health may benefit. In Scottsdale, call (480) 949-7900, and in Phoenix, call (602) 944-7199.