Does it matter if I snore?
Snoring is a common problem, but it should never be ignored. Eighty million American patients snore regularly. At least 70% of these cases involve patients who snore loudly and may have more serious health problems. Excessive snoring can be an indicator of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The word “apnea” means “without breath”. If you suffer from sleep apnea you are not breathing for as many as 100 episodes throughout the night. These episodes are caused by an obstruction in your airway. Soft tissue that obstructs these airways causes the snoring. The most serious consequences of a restricted airway are a limited flow of oxygen to the lungs and brain.
Sleep apnea may cause physical strain.
Pauses in your breathing will lower the oxygen saturation levels of your blood. This will produce higher blood pressure. For your body to experience deep, restful sleep, you must experience decreased systemic activity. When the heart is not allowed this type of rest, it is stressed in dangerous ways. This will eventually bring about serious heart-related problems.
Sleep apnea also hinders any serious weight loss. A consistent struggle with breathing and the resulting oxygen levels will eventually produce a hormonal imbalance. A lack of deep sleep will cause a decrease in the hormone which signals to the brain that the stomach is full. This causes the hunger-signaling hormone to dramatically increase. The hormonal imbalance that is consequently produced will cause a vicious cycle of overconsumption of calories and poor nutritional decisions which produce additional weight gain.
Treat More Than the Snoring
Many treatments are offered which treat only the symptom of snoring. This is akin to turning off a fire alarm but walking away from the fire. The snoring is usually an indicator of more serious health issues. You must confront the sleep apnea.
Anti-snoring mouthpieces will help you quit snoring by simply moving the lower jaw forward. If you are going to actually confront the real problem, you must deal with the actual airway. At Comprehensive Family Dentistry of Wexford Gardens, you can be custom-fitted with an oral appliance that will address the sleep apnea and not merely the snoring. Treating the sleep apnea will help the patient obtain a real, restful sleep that will reduce the risk of a whole list of serious health issues.