Why Sleep Apnea Requires Snoring Treatments

When snoring becomes more than an occasional irritant, snoring treatment from a dentist may be necessary. These healthcare professionals typically have more contact with patients than physicians and are often the first to suggest that snoring may be a symptom of sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea interrupts breathing briefly and repeatedly during slumber. Apnea refers to the cessation of breathing for at least 10 seconds. When the lungs do not take in air, sleep becomes fragmented and blood may become oxygen deprived. This disorder may lead to a variety of health issues, including hypertension and heart disease.

Importance of sleep

Humans need six to eight hours of sleep to function at fullest potential. During this period of dormancy, the body completes physical and mental processes. When a person is deprived of rest, focusing on a single task may become difficult, mood is often altered and memory problems may become an issue.

Benefits of enough sleep

From healing and repairing the heart and blood vessels to controlling blood glucose levels, sleep affects virtually every tissue in the body. Growth hormones in children work while sleeping. The body’s systems deal with stress hormones and bolster the immune system during this time, helping it maintain good health.

Sleep is also essential for the brain. Deprivation impairs problem solving and higher levels of reasoning. By restoring this level of rest, not only is the body rejuvenated, but the mind is invigorated. Individuals who get enough downtime consistently have quicker reflexes, think more clearly and focus better than those who are deprived of enough rest.

Symptoms of OSA

Most people living with OSA do not remember waking up during the night. However, several symptoms indicate that there may be a problem:

  • Impaired emotional functioning
  • Morning headaches, dry mouth or sore throat
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive tiredness during the day
  • Irritability

Sleep apnea may not be diagnosed for years. Dentists typically receive specialized training for identifying and treating this disorder. However, a diagnosis from a sleep medicine specialist is required before treatment can begin.

What snoring treatment is available?

Treatment options depend on the severity of the OSA. For individuals with a mild form of the disorder, behavioral changes may be enough to make a difference. Losing weight, quitting smoking and altering sleeping position can reduce the amount of snoring.

Wearing a dental appliance during slumber helps reposition the tongue and jaw to improve airflow. These devices look similar to a sports mouthguard. Although appliances have been shown effective in reducing the severity and frequency of apnea, it does take some adjustment and commitment on the patient’s part.

A CPAP machine uses continuous airflow to keep airways open during sleep. It consists of three components: A mask that covers the nose and mouth, a motor to blow the air and a tube that connects the two.

Conclusion

Several factors increase the risk of sleep apnea, including the use of sedatives, alcohol and smoking. However, it also appears that men are more likely than women to have OSA. Individuals with family members with this disorder may also be more prone to having it as well.

Are you considering snoring treatment in the Port Charlotte area? Get more information at https://dragonflydentalportcharlotte.com.

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