Many people are lucky to only snore when they get congested. For others, snoring is just a part of life. And for the unlucky, the act of “sawing logs” is so loud their partners have started complaining! But for millions of Americans, loud snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring: More Than Just a Sound
Remember the age-old question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The answer is of course yes, because sound is caused by vibration traveling through the air. So, even if someone isn’t hearing you snoring, snoring might still be impacting your sleep.
The good news is for most snorers, there isn’t much of a medical concern. Snoring can be caused by a tonsil infection or a swollen tongue. “Chronic snoring” is even possible, thanks to a crooked partition between the nostrils.
However, sometimes snoring is a sign of a bigger issue. One of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. Sleep apnea is caused by obstructions—usually excess tissue—in the airway during sleep. Snoring occurs when your breath vibrates these oral tissues and creates sound. If your snoring indicates sleep apnea, it can lead to more serious medical concerns than simply keeping other people awake.
Is There a Difference in the Snores?
If you have sleep apnea, your body has to compensate for a lack of oxygen unconsciously. Breathing harder is one of those means of compensation. For those with obstructive sleep apnea, their snoring is often louder because they are breathing heavier, causing more intense vibrations in the mouth and throat, leading to more noise.
But even more important: Sleep apnea patients often stop breathing for periods during the night. After a while of snoring loudly, you might pause for a long period or even “snort” or “cough” yourself awake. This is the body’s natural defense. To keep you from losing your breath completely, your body wakes you up, letting the conscious mind tense the loose tissues in the throat to allow for easy oxygen flow once more.
How Does This Impact My Sleep?
According to research done by Johns Hopkins Medicine, those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are not getting the restorative benefits of sleep that only happen in the deepest stages of sleep. When deprived of sleep for extended periods, you are at higher risk of serious illnesses such as:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Chronic fatigue
- Mood disorders
The Orthodontic Solution
With sleep playing such a vital role in our health, it is important to find a solution to obstructive sleep apnea. Thankfully, your friends at Fairchance Dental Arts can provide one!
At our practice, we take a proactive approach to dentistry. Because oral health can impact our overall well-being, we include sleep apnea treatment in our services. Our talented dental team offers a variety of airway orthodontic treatments, specifically to help with obstructive sleep apnea.
The Advanced Lightwire Functional Appliance (ALF) is just one example: a sleek, lightweight appliance that is placed along your teeth and helps properly position your jaw while you sleep. This will keep your airways unobstructed, allowing you to get the rest you deserve!
Call Today For Your Airway Orthodontic Consultation
Fairchance Dental Arts will always be your home for a beaming smile. Our office is committed to meeting each dental health goal our patients have. That includes improving your sleep schedule with our incredible airway orthodontic treatments!