Questions About Snoring and Sleep Apnea

For many people who snore when they sleep, the biggest problem with it is that it disturbs their partners’ and loved ones’ sleep. However, for some people, it can also pose a more significant concern for their overall wellbeing than they realize. Chronic snoring can become a burden on your cardiovascular system, and sometimes, it can be an indication of a more serious sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. Today, we answer a few questions about snoring and sleep apnea, and why you should speak to your dentist about it if your snoring occurs frequently.

When is snoring a serious problem?

The occasional occurrence of snoring isn’t something that’s usually concerning. Snoring occurs when your airway is obstructed enough to increase the pressure of your breathing. The increased air pressure causes the walls in your throat to vibrate loudly, hence the noise of snoring. In minor cases, this may simply be the result of your position as you sleep, or certain oral tissues becoming overrelaxed as you sleep. However, when you snore consistently, meaning most or every night, the problem can be more serious. For example, it may be the result of obstructive sleep apnea, which involves the complete cessation of your breathing while you sleep.

Does snoring always indicate sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea describes a disorder that’s often marked by excessively loud and repetitive snoring. The obstruction that causes you to snore is caused by mouth or throat tissues collapsing into your airway while you sleep, and it’s followed by silence as the obstruction completely blocks the airway and you stop breathing. When snoring indicates sleep apnea, it can be a significant concern. However, not everyone who snores experiences sleep apnea, though frequent snoring can also become a factor in higher health risks due to the consistently labored breathing associated with it.

Is there a way to stop snoring and sleep better?

People who snore frequently and people who experience obstructive sleep apnea often have one thing in the common – the repeated obstruction of their airway while they sleep. Fortunately, your dentist may be able to help you stop snoring constantly or address an obstructive sleep apnea by helping you stop this obstruction. This may be as convenient as wearing a custom-made sleep appliance when you sleep at night, which can be designed to offer comfortable support for your lower jaw to promote a more open and clear airway. This can prevent you from snoring or help prevent the complete airway obstruction that leads to repeated sleep apnea episodes at night.

Find out if your snoring means you have sleep apnea

Though snoring doesn’t always indicate sleep apnea, snoring every night could be a warning sign to ask your dentist about it. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA, today at (641) 628-1121.