Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Many American adults suffer from chronic snoring—37 million according to the National Sleep Foundation—and most never seek medical treatment for their condition. What many people fail to realize is that not only does habitual snoring deeply impact the quality of your sleep, but it can also be an indicator of a more serious condition, such as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is an all-too-common condition that can have serious medical implications. It’s best to find out if you have it sooner rather than later so you can get treatment.
Call GB Dental for a consultation. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can work with you to solve the problem.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is caused by obstruction of the air flow through the nose and the mouth, resulting in vibrations that create the snoring sound.
Reasons for this obstruction can include the following:
- Blockages in the nasal airways that make air passage require extra effort
- Poor muscle tone in the nose and throat that causes the airway to partially collapse
- Bulky throat tissue caused by being overweight or having large tonsils or adenoids
- Soft palate or uvula blocking the airway in the back of the throat
Some people are more prone to snoring than others. People with allergies are often more prone to snoring. Alcohol and some medications can also cause snoring. Other health problems, such as hypothyroidism, obesity, or a deviated septum, can also make people more likely to have snoring issues. Smoking and sleep apnea can also be the reason for chronic snoring.
When Chronic Snoring Is Sleep Apnea
While occasional snoring is primarily just a nuisance, chronic snoring can be an indicator of a more serious condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is defined by long interruptions in the breathing cycle. In severe cases, sleep can be interrupted hundreds of times every night. Not only does this severely impact the quality of your sleep, but it can also cause blood oxygen levels to decrease. This increases the amount of work your heart has to do, causing your blood pressure to rise.
If sleep apnea goes untreated for a long period of time, it can lead to an enlargement of the heart and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Chronic snoring has also been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Learn More about Snoring and Sleep Apnea
If you or your partner are suffering from severe snoring or you suspect one of you might have sleep apnea, call GB Dental and schedule a consultation with Dr. Bharwani. He will work with you to determine the severity of your snoring problem.
At the initial consultation, we will go over an explanation of several different treatments, dependent on the level of your snoring problem, and choose the best option so you—and your partner—can get a good night’s sleep.