June 30, 2019
Conversations about snoring are often lighthearted. Your partner and other family members might tease you for the noises you make when you’re asleep — but is snoring really something to make fun of? Snoring can sometimes point to a much more serious problem. Let’s discuss what snoring is, how it might indicate a bigger issue, and what you can do to achieve quieter, higher-quality sleep.
When Snoring Isn’t a Big Deal
When you drift off to sleep, the tissues in your mouth relax, the airway becomes narrower and, when you breathe in, the suction action causes even further narrowing. This is a natural process and happens to everyone — to an extent. In some individuals, however, the airway narrowing reaches the point where the air moving through it causes the soft tissues in that area to vibrate. The vibration produces the sound we call snoring.
As long as you continue to get enough oxygen while you sleep, snoring is not something to worry about. However, if your snoring is accompanied by other symptoms, it can point to obstructive sleep apnea.
When to Worry About Snoring
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder that causes temporary pauses in breathing throughout the night. Not only does this rob individuals of the high-quality, rejuvenating rest they need to function at their best, but it can also lead to long-term health risks. For example, OSA has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular illness, and Alzheimer’s disease.
If any of the following symptoms accompanying your snoring, your health may be at risk:
- Waking up gasping for air
- Excessive daytime exhaustion
- Depression or irritability
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Sexual dysfunction
How to Say Goodbye to Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Whether your snoring is just an annoyance for your partner or it indicates OSA, there might be some simple steps you can take to overcome the problem. Dr. Allison Fowler can arrange for you to undergo a sleep study with a physician who is board certified in sleep medicine and pulmonology. The sleep study will reveal if you have OSA and how severe the OSA is.
After you receive a diagnosis, you can begin treatment. In some cases, Dr. Fowler has helped many patients find relief from OSA via the use of a custom oral appliance, which repositions the jaw at night to allow for freer airflow.
Is your snoring something to worry about? The only way to find out for sure is to consult with a qualified professional.
More About Dr. Fowler
Dr. Allison Fowler is a highly accomplished dentist whose focus is, not just on treating her patients’ teeth, but on helping them enjoy a higher quality of life. Her in-depth understanding of the orofacial structures equips her to help individuals with obstructive sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy. To learn more about Dr. Fowler and her services, contact our office today at 214-368-0018.
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