Snoring is a common problem that could actually be indicative of a bigger problem. During snoring, your airway is obstructed so that you can’t breathe correctly. This makes it essential that you talk to your doctor about this problem. However, since people tend to see their dentist more often, you can talk to your dentist about your snoring habits for help and guidance. Here’s why should you consider talking to your dentist about your snoring and how he or she can help.
You May Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Although your obstructed airway could be as simple as your tongue blocking the back of your throat, your snoring problem could be a bit more serious than that. You could be experiencing a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which you stop breathing for short periods of time during your sleep. Your body wakes up to resume normal breathing, but you soon fall back asleep and may not remember these episodes at all. This can happen many times during a single night.
OSA is a serious sleep disorder that can affect your entire life. Other symptoms of OSA include daytime fatigue, headaches upon waking, or even high blood pressure and changes in mood. Since your sleep helps restore energy and balance hormones—among many other tasks—OSA could be the culprit behind these symptoms in addition to your snoring.
Getting a Diagnosis
Dentists are trained to recognize symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, such as dry mouth or enamel erosion. However, your dentist won’t be able to diagnose the disorder. If your dentist suspects you have OSA, he or she can arrange a sleep test for you through a neurologist to get a proper diagnosis. Once the sleep study has been conducted, your neurologist can advise if sleep apnea is present or not. If obstructive sleep apnea is the cause of your snoring and abnormal sleep patterns, your dentist will likely be the person to help treat your OSA with oral sleep appliances.
Oral Sleep Appliances Can Help
Oral sleep appliances are devices worn in the mouth that help keep your airway open during sleep. Not only does this help alleviate snoring, but it can also combat the symptoms of OSA. Your dentist is the person who can treat sleep apnea by fitting you with a custom oral sleep appliance. These appliances are just like a mouth guard but are comfortable and help you breathe properly throughout the night.
Your dentist should be experienced with oral sleep appliance therapy and be able to work with you to recommend the best oral sleep appliance for your OSA. These devices are small, easily portable, and simple to take care of. Best of all, they can help you get a proper night’s rest and help treat your OSA!
Is it time to talk to your dentist about your snoring? If you’re experiencing other symptoms along with your snoring habit, it’s time to schedule a dentist visit. Your dentist can talk with you about your symptoms and refer you to a sleep specialist. Don’t let snoring or daytime fatigue take over your life—there is effective treatment! Talk to your dentist about OSA and oral sleep appliances today.
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