How Do You Treat Snoring?

Frustrated woman covering her ears with pillow in bed next to man sleeping with mouth open

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Man snoring before sleep apnea treatment in Ormond Beach
  • Occurs When Breathing Ceases During Sleep
  • Affects Millions of All Ages
  • Patients Wake Up Gasping for Air
  • Can Occur Hundreds of Times Each Night

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Man snoring before sleep apnea treatment in Ormond Beach

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Snoring affects millions of people of all ages, both male and female. Oral appliance therapy is the most common treatment for the most severe snoring problems. Treatment procedures range from changing your sleep patterns to utilizing orthodontic-related appliances that help open the airways during sleep. If you believe you might benefit from sleep apnea treatment in Ormond Beach, contact our dental office to schedule an appointment today.

Sleep apnea occurs when you cease breathing for 10 seconds or more as a result of a blocked airway. When this happens, your brain is triggered in a way that will allow it to alert your body to its need to breathe. This often results in a person waking up gasping or choking for air. This can happen once or hundreds of times each night, causing an individual’s blood pressure to rise and fall over and over again. This is a dangerous cycle that if left untreated, can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

How Is Snoring Related to Sleep Apnea?

Man sleeping on his side with his mouth open
  • Occurs When Airway Becomes Blocked
  • Snoring Doesn’t Necessarily Confirm Sleep Apnea
  • Associated With Obese/Overweight People
  • Can Lead to Higher Risk of Sleep Apnea

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Man sleeping on his side with his mouth open

How Is Snoring Related to Sleep Apnea?

As we mentioned earlier, sleep apnea happens when an airway becomes blocked. When a person snores, the soft tissues and throat collapse, partially blocking your airway. While chronic snoring is one of the leading symptoms of sleep apnea, it doesn’t always mean that if you snore, you have sleep apnea. Snoring is often associated with people who may be obese or overweight, which can also contribute to an increased chance of developing sleep apnea.

Common Causes of Snoring

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  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Obstructed Nasal Passages
  • Hypothyroidism

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Older man in black and white plaid shirt sitting in front of a window

Common Causes of Snoring

Snoring is caused by the vibrations of your soft and/or hard tissue palates; these vibrations occur because of increasingly narrow air passages. When air passes through these passages, a “flapping” sound occurs because the tissue is soft in nature. Surgery (to alleviate the snoring) is not always successful, however, because the sound may not originate from the soft palate; the snoring sometimes originates from tissues in the upper airway.

Common causes:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Health problems
  • Obesity
  • Obstructed nasal passages – deviated septum
  • Poor muscle tone of the tongue
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies

Our doctor can evaluate you to determine if a snoring appliance is the best solution for your snoring. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Close up of senior woman with her hand over her heart
  • Heart Disease
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Unexpected Weight Gain

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Woman sleeping on her side and wearing C P A P
  • CPAP Intolerance is a Problem
  • Custom Oral Appliance Therapy
  • Small, Compact & Portable
  • Keeps Airway Open While You Sleep

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Sleep Apnea Treatment

Many dentists and doctors have spent years treating patients suffering from sleep apnea with a CPAP machine. Although effective and beneficial at treating the condition, it is often found to be difficult to use, maneuver, and uncomfortable to wear. Don’t forget the bulky hardware and machine that come with the CPAP.

An alternative method that is much less invasive and more user-friendly is oral appliance therapy. These small, compact, and portable devices are easy to wear. Designed to look like a mouthguard, you simply slip it into your mouth before you go to sleep. The way they are customized to fit your mouth allows these devices to shift your jaw forward to keep your airway open while you sleep.

Sleep Apnea FAQs

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Unless you have a partner who can tell you that your snoring keeps them awake at night or that you suddenly stop breathing while asleep, you may be unaware of the other symptoms that often point to sleep apnea. Some of these include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Morning headaches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Gasping or choking sensation that causes you to wake throughout the night
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of libido
  • Irritability

You may not experience all of these symptoms, as each person is different, but if you suspect you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it is best to seek the help of a qualified professional who can recommend a sleep study and provide necessary treatment.

How long does the average sleep study take?

There are various types of sleep studies, so it’s not always easy trying to pinpoint an exact amount of time. Since some are completed in a lab and others at home, the duration may vary slightly. Typically, if you undergo a sleep study in a lab, it will take about 45 minutes to connect you to the devices and equipment that will monitor you throughout the night. In order to achieve appropriate results for a formal diagnosis, a doctor will need about six hours of recorded data to determine whether you have sleep apnea or not.

How can sleep apnea lead to cardiovascular problems?

One of the most common problems associated with sleep apnea is cardiovascular disease. When you cease breathing throughout the night, your brain must attempt to alert your body. As you suddenly wake (most likely gasping or choking to breathe), your heart rate and blood pressure are elevated, essentially working in survival mode. As you begin to calm down and these return to normal levels, the process can be repeated multiple times while you sleep. This up and down of your blood pressure can be detrimental to your health, resulting in a heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, or even heart failure.

Will I need to wear an oral appliance for the rest of my life?

While there is no definitive answer as to whether you will need to wear an oral appliance for the rest of your life, there are additional lifestyle changes you can make that will lessen your symptoms and have you achieving better sleep, such as:

  • Exercising and losing weight
  • Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients
  • Embracing cessation resources to quit smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Lessening your stress by practicing meditation, speaking to a counselor, or finding alternative ways to relax

How can I know if my oral appliance is working?

If you want to know the number one you can tell if your oral appliance is working, simply ask your partner. If your snoring ceases and you appear to breathe freely throughout the night, consider it a success. Your oral appliance is designed to minimize the symptoms and keep your airway open and void of any obstruction.

Other ways you will notice that it is working is in your energy levels, your ability to think clearly, and how you feel when you wake in the morning. When positive movement occurs in these areas, you can also expect your mood to improve drastically as well as your attitude toward life.