Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are two of the most common sleep disorders affecting approximately half of the adult population today. In addition to keeping a patient from getting a good night’s sleep, snoring and/or sleep apnea can also present a serious health risk and have been associated with cardiovascular and systemic disease.
SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNEA
- Daytime sleepiness and the tendency to fall asleep while reading, watching television or driving
- Loud snoring
- Gasping while sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Mood swings
DIAGNOSING SLEEP APNEA
Diagnosing a sleep-related breathing disorder such as OSA typically involves the dentist as well as the patient’s physician. A sleep study done either at home or at a sleep laboratory will evaluate the quality of sleep and diagnosis can be made.
TREATMENT OF SNORING AND SLEEP APNEA
Oral appliance therapy is very popular in treating the complications of snoring and to reduce the health risks associated with OSA. Sleep apnea can significantly increase the risk of stroke and heart attack and impact the severity of systemic disease such as diabetes. Patients with OSA repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night, reducing oxygen flow to internal organs and causing the patient to awaken with a loud snore as breathing is restored. Although many patients are unaware of their snoring, many experience similar daytime symptoms related to the disorder. If you or a loved one snores, discuss this with our doctors. Treating a sleep disorder can restore overall health for both the patient and those affected by their snoring.