Does your partner complain about your snoring? Or perhaps he or she worries that you may have a problem with sleep apnea. Luckily, your dentist may have the solution to either -- or both -- problems: An FDA-approved dental appliance.
If your partner has told you in no uncertain terms that you snore, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. As many as half of all adults snore! Snoring occurs when breathing is partially obstructed in some way. Air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing them to vibrate and produce that harsh, often joked about sound known as snoring.
Snoring has many potential causes such as ...
- having a low, thick soft palate
- drinking alcohol at night before bed
- nasal problems
- sleep deprivation
- sleep position
- sleep apnea
Snoring isn’t Funny!
Snoring is sometimes associated with a sleep disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Not all snorers have this disorder, so don't panic! However, if your snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, a visit to your doctor is a good idea: ...
- extreme daytime sleepiness
- frequent or chronic morning headaches
- morning sore throat
- restless sleep that's not stress-related
- nighttime gasping or choking
- nighttime chest pain
- snoring that's so loud it frequently wakes your partner and sometimes even wakes you
Even though you may see your doctor for a diagnosis, your dentist is actually the person who will fit you for an oral appliance to help with snoring.
An oral appliance is a form-fitting dental mouthpiece that fits over your teeth and helps advance the position of your jaw, soft palate and tongue to keep your air passage open and unobstructed. Many times, these appliances are covered by your medical insurance or Medicare.,
Tried a CPAP machine and are unable to tolerate it?
You are not alone. An oral sleep appliance may be a good option. There are no masks or hoses or sounds. Talk to your physician about this option.
Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.