You would like to enjoy silent nights during the Christmas season … and the rest of the year, too. That can be difficult if you are living with someone who’s snoring keeps you awake at night.
Whether that person sleeps in the same bed, the same room, or down the hallway, persistent snoring can make it hard to drift off for the night.
That snoring also can be a symptom of a serious health condition called sleep apnea. It’s something our doctors can treat at Smiles of Orland Park.
If you worry that someone you care about could have this sleep disorder, take the time to read today’s post. Then talk to them about scheduling a consultation at our Orland Park, IL dentist office. Call 708-858-9591 to plan your visit with us.
What To Watch For
Health experts estimate that 22 million Americans have sleep apnea. This is a sleep disorder in which people stop breathing when they fall asleep. The most common form of this condition is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It gets its name because your airways become obstructed when you have it.
This can happen for a variety of reasons. In some cases, it is the result of having a narrow airway. In other cases, it is the result of extra weight. When people fall asleep their muscles relax. This can allow soft tissue to block their airway until they become closed.
This also explains why people with OSA snore. With breath is forced through a smaller opening, it vibrates the soft tissues, which creates the sound of snoring. That snoring continues until the airway is so closed that the person with OSA stops breathing, which can be a scary thing for someone else to hear.
People who have sleep apnea can stop breathing hundreds of times every night. That interferes with their ability to get healthy sleep, and it affects the people who love them, too.
When someone has untreated OSA, they are likely to have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Constant snoring
- Frequent breathing stoppages while sleeping
- Daytime fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth
People with sleep apnea also have a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and automobile accidents (due to sleep deprivation). While anyone can have sleep apnea, men, people who are obese, and people over 40 years old are more likely to have this condition.
Treating Sleep Apnea
At Smiles of Orland Park, we offer a comfortable and convenient treatment for sleep apnea. Our oral appliance is a great first-line option for many people, and it has proven to be beneficial for patients who have trouble using a CPAP machine.
The appliance is custom-made for your teeth. It slightly shifts the position of your jaw, which opens your airways. This allows you to continue breathing throughout the night. As many of our patients have learned, you also can wake up feeling rested and refreshed. So can your loved ones, who aren’t being kept awake by endless snoring.