It’s not just noise, it’s unhealthy!
While Snoring might seem funny to some, it is associated with serious Health Issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, GERD, Congestive heart failure, Ischemic heart disease, stroke, epilepsy, bruxism and morbid obesity. For example, 92% of stroke victims have sleep apnea. Hypopnea and sleep apnea are two sleep obstructive disorders that can be marked by snoring or pauses in breathing during sleep. If untreated, your risk for more serious problems such as heart disease and stroke are increased by up to 5 times. A recent study by the AASM found that apnea can decrease your life expectancy by 8-11 years! Luckily, there are ways to treat sleeping disorders, some of which your dentist can provide.
Hypopnea and Sleep Apnea
Similar in their symptoms, hypopnea and apnea disrupt normal breathing, which causes the level of oxygen in the blood to drop. Hypopnea is less severe than apnea, and is marked by overly shallow breathing. Sleep apnea is a complete cut-off of breathing. Both reduce oxygen to the brain, which causes the brain to send out stress hormones that create a burst of adrenalin to make you start breathing again. This prevents you from getting restorative sleep, which is necessary to keep your brain functioning well, and the body’s cells repaired.
Symptoms of hypopnea and sleep apnea include extremely slow breathing, pauses in breathing (sleep apnea), chronic snoring, sudden loud snorts or gasps for air in the middle of sleep, excessive sleepiness, insomnia, headaches, dry mouth, sore throat, forgetfulness, irritability or depression. Children with sleep disorders can develop Attention Deficit Disorders, as well as TMJ disorders which can have a negative impact on their facial growth. These symptoms not only have an effect on the patient with the sleep disorder, but can have an effect on their relationships, especially with those who sleep near the snorer. There is an estimate of 20% of the population having significant sleep disorders.
How Your Dentist Can Help
There are a few different ways to treat sleep disorders. For more severe apnea, a common way to treat the patient is with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. Often times the CPAP machine fails due to patients not using it 50% of the time. If it does fail, your dentist can provide you with an alternative treatment to help correct hypopnea and sleep apnea. Intra-oral appliances are custom made devices that facilitate uninhibited breathing during sleep. The appliance is modeled after the patient’s mouth for a comfortable fit, and is worn much like a retainer. Your dentist will take a bite registration to determine proper jaw placement, and the appliance moves the lower jaw forward. This opens up the airways, making breathing easier and prevents snoring.
Don’t let sleep disorders disrupt your life and put your health at risk. Talk to your dentist about your symptoms and see if an intra-oral appliance is the right treatment for you.
Call Us Today at 805-553-1980!