Snoring is a common problem that is not only potentially disruptive to both you and your partner, but it may also indicate a more serious health condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obstructive sleep apnea can put you at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular conditions such as high blood pressure and stroke because this condition interferes with your breathing.
If you have concerns about your snoring, speak to your dentist about advanced oral appliances. These devices can help to control your snoring by keeping your air passages open and clear.
How Snoring and Sleep Apnea Are Related
Although not all snoring relates to obstructive sleep apnea, it is a common symptom. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax, causing the airway to narrow or close when breathing in. Snoring is the sound that results when air flows past the relaxed tissues in the throat, causing a vibration as you breathe.
Sleep apnea can prevent enough air from getting into the lungs. This lowers the oxygen levels in the blood – and because the brain senses the body’s sudden inability to breathe, it can cause the person to awaken momentarily to take a breath. This usually causes a gasp, snort, or choke, but without them realizing it. This may happen repeatedly through the night and can prevent deep, restful sleep.
When snoring is related to sleep apnea, it is often accompanied by:
- Excessive sleepiness in the daytime
- Morning headaches
- Problems concentrating
- Poor attention span
- Restless sleep
- Sore throat in the morning
- Pauses in breathing during sleep (witnessed or overheard by others)
How Sleep Apnea and Heart Problems Are Related
There is strong evidence to link sleep apnea to high blood pressure and heart problems. Blood pressure is a measure of the force the heart places on the arteries each time blood is pumped throughout the body, and sleep apnea can cause the body to be repeatedly deprived of oxygen in the blood during the night. These sudden drops in blood oxygen levels can impair the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure. If blood pressure becomes too high, it can put a strain on the cardiovascular system and other organs.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea to Foster Heart Health
There are different types of oral appliances to keep your airways open while you sleep. An oral appliance is a custom-made dental mouthpiece that helps to reduce snoring by enabling more unobstructed breathing.
Your dentist can advise you of which appliance may be best to treat your specific condition and your personal requirements. It can be an effective solution for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Comprehensive Oral Health Services in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
If you have concerns about snoring, speak to the experienced staff at Hagerman Dental Care for advice. Dr. Hagerman and his experienced team offer comprehensive services for all of your oral healthcare needs.
If you would like to find out more about the services we offer, call our dental clinic today at (651) 646-2392 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We are here to help you and your whole family achieve beautiful smiles and excellent health for a lifetime.