Snoring can make sleeping impossible for bed partners, hurting their relationship and affecting their overall health due to lack of sleep. 60% of men and 40% of women between the ages of 40 and 60 years old have problems with snoring. While it surely is annoying, it could be the sign of a serious problem: Sleep Apnea.
When we sleep, breathing may occasionally and briefly stop due to blocked airways. When this happens frequently (many times per hour, severe being over 30 times for up to 2 minutes) you are suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. As many as 20 million North Americans have sleep Apnea, with about 80% of cases going undiagnosed. If you have Sleep Apnea you are also at a higher risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
How Does The Airway Become Blocked While Sleeping?
While asleep, we can lose the muscle tone and reflexes that keep airways open. The tongue and soft palate at the back of your mouth can slump back and close off the airway either partially or completely. Air going past the partially blocked floppy soft tissues vibrate, which creates the sound of snoring.
Factors that can affect obstructive Sleep Apnea are:
What are the other symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Today, Sleep Treatment Guidelines recommend the use of an Oral Appliance to treat Sleep Apnea. A Sleep Apnea Appliance is like a retainer, attached to be worn on both, the top and bottom teeth that are attached and position the jaw, tongue, and soft palate in a way that widens airways and allow for unobstructed breathing. These appliances are designed for maximum comfort to ensure you enjoy a good night sleep while eliminating the effects, symptoms and complications of Sleep Apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious, under-diagnosed medical condition. If you or your partner spend your nights snoring, contact Bright Dental to explore options to treat sleep apnea immediately.
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