“Knowing the difference between snoring and sleep apnea is key in determining proper treatment. Snoring is the result of tissues in the throat relaxing enough that they partially block the airway and vibrate, creating a sound. Depending on an individual’s anatomy and other lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption and body weight, the sound of the vibration can be louder or softer. Loud frequent snoring is one of the indicators of sleep apnea, which is a chronic condition characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. When people with sleep apnea fall asleep, they can stop breathing for 10 seconds or more, even up to a minute or more. Both conditions can be caused or made worse by obesity, large tongue and tonsils, aging and head and neck shape” (American Sleep Apnea Association – sleepapnea.org).
These two conditions are known to be present in a large number of our population. Working in conjunction with your physician, we aim to help find dental appliances that will be comfortable, functional, and will give you the health benefits you deserve.
Loud snorers may have a more serious case of blocked air passages, known as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In these cases, the blockage of air is so great that no air can get through, causing repeated awakenings throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea can contribute or lead to many other conditions, such as bleeding gums, tooth wear, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and depression. We care for our patients overall health and make regular referrals to ENT physicians if we suspect sleep related apnea problems.