Sleep Apnea And Snoring: How Can Your Dentist Help?
Snoring is a health issue that many people do not take seriously. Those who care, they would talk to their primary physician. But did you know that if you have snoring issues and sleep apnea problems, your dentist is the right person to talk with? There is plenty of dental clinic in Sydney but it is important that you first understand why you snore and how it can be helped.
Snoring – Why Does It Happen?
Snoring will occur if there is an obstruction in your airway while you are sleeping. This can be caused by the tongue or some soft tissues in your mouth. When the soft tissues at the top of your airway hit each other, this vibration can create a loud noise. These loud noises have short pauses in between. This can be an indication of sleep apnea.
If the patient has obstructive sleep apnea, breathing stops for short moments. This can have damaging effects like atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems. If you have sleep apnea and you snore at night, it can cause sleepiness during daytime or sometimes, daily fatigue.
Snoring vs Sleep Apnea: What’s The Difference?
Some people think that snoring and sleep apnea are the same when in reality, they are different. When you are snoring, only a part of the airway is obstructed. While sleep apnea is more serious than snoring because this can completely close your airway and breathing can stop for up to 10 seconds, sometimes, even longer.
Determining sleep apnea is easy because the snoring follows a pattern. The snorer makes loud snoring sounds then it will be followed by silence. This will then be followed by gasping or choking when the person starts to breathe again. With obstructive sleep apnea, it has more serious consequences. The snoring is only an indicator.
How Dentists Can Help With Snoring And Sleep Apnea
If you have noticed your spouse or you having constant snoring problems at night with daytime sleepiness and fatigue, mention this to your dentist. Also, explain the pattern of noise. There will be tests that you have to undergo to make sure that you sleep safely and soundly at night. One of them is the polysomnogram or ‘sleep study.’ The experts will use this to analyze your sleeping patterns as well as your vital nights overnight.
In the meantime, your dentist might recommend easy remedies to reduce these episodes. Here’s what you can do:
- Lose weight. If your weight is not within the normal range, it can change the structures that surrounds your airway.
- Avoid consuming alcohol at night. This can change your sleep quality.
- Refrain from using sedatives. You have to talk to your doctor about other alternatives.
- Sleep with a supportive pillow and avoid sleeping on your back.
Dental Devises That Can Help With Snoring And Sleep Apnea
The dental professional would be able to determine the root of your snoring and sleep apnea issues. You might also need to use special mouthguards that are designed by dentists to hold your jaw and tongue in place to avoid airway obstruction.