If you are dealing with a partner, roommate, or friend who either snores or complains about your snoring, there is a chance that sleep apnea is at play. This is a sleep disorder that can keep people up at night and can be very harmful for the snorer. If you have someone in your life who snores and you do not know how to help them, read this article written by our Artistic Smiles experts!
Sleep apnea is nothing more than your breathing pausing while you sleep. Instead of inhaling or exhaling normally during sleep, everything momentarily stops. The muscle movement, the movement of your lungs, the movement of your diaphragm, and the suction that inhales the breath, everything.
These pauses in breathing are not enough to cause you any harm or even wake you up, but it does cause your body to produce a loud snoring like sound. It also can disrupt your sleep, causing someone with sleep apnea to feel tired the next day.
Types Of Sleep Apnea
There are two different types of sleep apnea, with each type acting the same. The first is obstructive sleep apnea which is where something blocks your airflow. Medical professionals are not sure what actually is blocking the airflow to your lungs, but the breathing is interrupted, forcing you to snore.
Central sleep apnea is where your unconscious breathing stops, and it takes a moment for the breath to start up again. In either case, when you stop breathing, the brain senses the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood and signals for you to awaken. This causes the airway to clear and/or the unconscious breathing to restart.
Then the cycle starts all over again, ruining your sleep and causing you to feel restless in the morning. The effects of sleep apnea can cause various other health problems as well, including increasing your risks for various diseases.
How We Fix Sleep Apnea
Our dentists will do their best to fix your sleep apnea by changing your lifestyle. This often starts with behavioral changes that can clear obstructed airways. For example, one of the things we recommend is that you should avoid taking sedatives and sleeping pills to go to sleep. While these items do relax you, they can also cause the collapse of the airways thanks to your weakened muscles.
We also recommend the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (or CPAP) device, to help treat moderate to severe sleep apnea. This machine typically comes with a mask, and it keeps your airways open by using pressurized air and allowing you to breathe without any pausing.
While you might not think that snoring is a dental problem, it is, and our team of Artistic Smiles dentists is right there to solve it with you. If you are dealing with loud snoring or health problems caused by sleep apnea, call and set up an appointment where we can start prescribing treatment for you as soon as possible. Our dentists will bring peace and quiet to your home once more and allow you to get a good night’s sleep too!