When you have a chronic snoring problem, it’s probably a good idea to seek a solution to help you stop. At minimum, it will help your sleeping partner sleep more soundly each night, even if you don’t notice your snoring habit. At worst, however, your snoring might not be just a typical snoring habit. It could indicate a more profound sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Today, we examine how snoring and sleep apnea are connected, and why you’ll need professional treatment to address your snoring habit if sleep apnea is the cause of it.
What does having sleep apnea mean?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a more common problem than many people realize. Even those who have it may know nothing about it, or that they’re losing precious sleep every night because of the condition. Sleep apnea means the cessation of breathing while you sleep, and this is the center of the snoring episodes that you experience each night. Sleep apnea occurs when your airway is obstructed by oral and throat tissues, causing you snore louder and louder until, eventually, you stop breathing altogether.
How to tell if your snoring might mean OSA
Chronic snoring isn’t as serious of a problem as sleep apnea. Unfortunately, many people who have sleep apnea confuse their condition with a chronic snoring habit, which can make them less prone to seeking treatment for it. The difference is that snoring related to sleep apnea follows a distinct pattern that matches the cycles you experience each night. The snoring grows louder as the airway is increasingly more obstructed, due to the increased air pressure that the obstruction causes. After it reaches its peak, which can be louder than you might imagine, the snoring will stop as your airway becomes completely obstructed. These few moments of silence will last until your body forces the airway clear again, and the snoring pattern repeats itself again.
How your dentist can help you sleep better
For many patients who have sleep apnea, the obstruction of their airway can be effectively prevented with help from a custom-designed sleep appliance. Similar to a mouthguard but smaller and with a more direct purpose, a sleep apnea appliance can support your lower jaw while you sleep to prevent the airway from becoming obstructed. This can effectively stop your snoring habit as well as address the root cause of your sleep apnea, allowing you to finally rest peacefully and quietly throughout the night.
Learn how to treat your sleep apnea
If your snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, then it will take professional treatment with a custom-designed sleep appliance to help you stop. To learn more, call our Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234. We also serve the residents of Kingwood, Conroe, Livingston, and all surrounding communities.