Stop Letting Sleep Apnea Keep Everyone Awake

When you think about snoring, you probably have someone in your family you immediately think about. Maybe it is your uncle, your dad, or even your wife or husband. Maybe it is even you. But hey, a little snoring is not too bad, right? You are right — if it is just some snoring. The problem is that bad snoring can be a sign of a serious condition called sleep apnea. Technically, this is not about teeth, so how can a dentist help? Because Dr. Steven Airey is trained in more than just teeth and gums. We can help if your jaw joint is painful, and we can help with sleep apnea treatment as well.

What Is the Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Regular Snoring?
Everybody makes a little noise when they sleep. We whistle a bit when we breathe, for example. But if you snore loudly almost every time you sleep, you might have sleep apnea.

What causes sleep apnea? First, it is important to know that you relax when you sleep. (Otherwise, you would not be able to fall asleep.) But not every muscle relaxes. Your heart keeps beating, for example. There are muscles around your windpipe that are supposed to stay strong so they keep your windpipe the normal shape no matter how you sit or lie down. But in people who suffer from sleep apnea, those muscles relax too much. Your windpipe starts to actually close. Forcing air through that smaller space is what causes such bad snoring.

We All Snore. How Bad Could Sleep Apnea Be?
There are a couple of problems that come along with your windpipe closing up. The most obvious one is that your body starts to panic, thinking you are being suffocated because that windpipe is now mostly or even completely closed off. You are suddenly awake, but then those muscles stop relaxing and your windpipe opens up again. So you fall back to sleep … only to wake up in a panic again. With sleep apnea, some people can do that up to 240 times in eight hours of sleep.

That means you are not getting the rest you need. If you have sleep apnea, you will often find it harder to concentrate the next day, leading to accidents and mistakes. You are probably going to be irritable and moody, too, just as if you had only gotten a few hours of sleep last night. All of this can make depression worse and contribute to you gaining weight.

Plus, research links sleep apnea to some serious problems, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, fibromyalgia and more.

How Can a Dentist Help With Sleep Apnea?
At our office, Dr. Airey can create a snore guard to help fight sleep apnea. You wear this over your teeth while you sleep, which moves your jaw just enough to help keep your windpipe open despite those muscles relaxing too much. It will be made to fit comfortably over your teeth, and you should finally be able to sleep normally again.

If you are the one who is snoring, our sleep apnea treatment can help you get a good night’s rest — and that helps your loved ones get the sleep they need, too. To learn more about our sleep apnea treatment in Boone, North Carolina, or to schedule your next appointment, give Appalachian Dental Care a call today at 828-264-9938 or use our online form.

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