Sleep is interwoven with every facet of our health and well-being, our moods and behavior, energy and emotions, marriages, jobs, our very sanity and happiness. Snoring can be a symptom of a serious medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea that can be Life Threatening. Think of snoring as thunder (just noise) and sleep apnea as lightening (potentially very lethal).
We are all familiar with snoring. Snoring is the sound made when the tissues of the soft palate, tongue and throat partially block the airway and vibrate against the back of the throat during sleep. Snoring affects 40% of adults by age 40 and it is estimated that 45 million people snore every night affecting themselves and their bedpartners. Before you seek treatment for snoring, it is very important that you have ruled out Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects more than 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, excessive daytime sleepiness and other destructive problems. OSA is a condition where the tissues of the throat and tongue completely block the airway causing brief periods of suffocation, which can dangerously reduce the body’s oxygen levels. The brain alerts the muscles of the airway to open the blocked airway which disrupts the quality of our much needed sleep and we wake up tired and unrested.
The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep are:
- Loud Snoring
- Intermittent Breathing Stoppages During Sleep
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
- Restless sleep
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Poor Memory
- Irritability or Moodiness
It is very important to address OSA during an FMR. Today, with dentistry’s new knowledge and diagnostic skills, many times we can provide assistance for the snoring or sleep apnea patient. Teeth and jaws can be optimally aligned and a simple, night time appliance can protect your investment and give you one more thing to smile about. A great night’s sleep.