Everyone snores, right? Although that’s how it might feel after sleeping next to your partner every night for five years, it’s just not true. No, not everyone snores. Yes, there is something you can do about it. And, yes, absolutely, it’s something you should talk to your dentist about.
Snoring generally isn’t the main issue, though it can frustrate your partner to no end. Actually, snoring is usually a symptom of a much bigger, more serious problem. You may have sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
If you’ve never heard of sleep apnea, it’s a condition where your airway becomes blocked while you’re sleeping. This causes constant breaks in your breathing, which cause disruptions in your sleep. In turn, this awakes your brain, sending a signal to begin breathing again.
We know that sleep apnea sounds very scary. But, if you have sleep apnea, your brain is already pretty good at monitoring it. The problem, however, is that it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when you are never truly resting.
What Can You Do About Sleep Apnea?
If you are noticing symptoms, such as snoring, lack of energy, chronic headaches, or mood swings, the first thing to do is visit a professional. Dr. Safarian at Irresistible Smiles in San Diego has treated sleep apnea cases for years, providing the right treatment for each individual. There are essentially three types of treatment: OAT, CPAP machines, and surgery.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
For milder cases of sleep apnea, we use OAT. During therapy, our team at Irresistible Smiles will use a state-of-the-art dental appliance to reposition your jaw. The repositioning will allow air to flow more easily through your mouth and airways.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machines
If OAT isn’t right for you, the next step is to get a CPAP machine. These machines force air into your airways while you are sleeping, basically monitoring your breathing so your brain can rest. Many patients also start with CPAP and find it uncomfortable which is when we recommend trying Oral Appliance Therapy instead.
Though surgery isn’t also necessary, some cases of sleep apnea are so severe that they require extra help. During surgery, a surgeon will open up the airways to allow more air to pass through. The most commons types of surgery for sleep apnea include removing the tonsils, shrinking soft tissue with radio waves, and restructuring parts of the jaw.