If you snore every once in a while, then it may not seem like any cause for alarm, so you might not focus much on learning why or how to stop. However, for some patients, the condition is more than it seems, and can indicate a disorder known as sleep apnea that can have significant consequences for your overall health. Snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea, and when ignored, it could pave the way for increased risks of chronic health issues in the future.
When Snoring Is More than It Seems
Snoring is typically caused by oral tissues partially blocking your airway. Like air squeezed out of a balloon, the sound grows louder the smaller the air’s passage becomes. For most patients, the partial obstruction is all that happens, but for others, it can grow until they stop breathing completely—a condition known as sleep apnea.
The Health Consequences of Sleep Apnea
If you have sleep apnea, then your snoring will follow a distinct pattern; the noise will grow louder as the obstruction grows, then stop as your airway becomes completely blocked. After several seconds, your brain will panic from lack of oxygen and force your body to clear its airway. This cycle can repeat hundreds of times a night, depriving you of necessary deep sleep and overtaxing your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea
The good news for many patients with sleep apnea is that treatment is often as simple as wearing a custom-designed oral appliance supplied by their dentists. The appliance, or sleepguard, is designed to position your jaw in a comfortable way that prevents airway blockage, and thereby prevents snoring and sleep apnea cycles.
Ask Your Dentist About Snoring/Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you snore often, then ignoring it may not be a good idea, especially if it’s a sign of a disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call Elm Creek Dental in Maple Grove, MN today at (763) 416-0606.