Find your solution to sleep apnea or snoring with your Sonoma County holistic dentist
Snoring is something that just about everyone does now and then. Although most often it is just an innocuous nuisance, snoring can also become problematic. It is important that patients who would describe their snoring problem as chronic be evaluated. Chronic snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can have serious health implications.
Sleep apnea explained
Differentiating between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can be a challenge due to the similarities between the two. Loud chronic snoring occurs when tissues around the throat become relaxed and partially block the flow of air. As air passes through a constricted windpipe, it causes vibration of soft tissues. When a person has obstructive sleep apnea, constriction completely blocks airflow as muscles relax around the throat. When air cannot get through to the lungs and body, oxygen deprivation in the brain prompts a surge of adrenaline, which rouses sleep. The degree to which sleep is disrupted is typically mild. Full alertness rarely happens. In the course of a night, breathing may stop hundreds of times. Each episode may last up to several seconds.
Recognizing the signs of sleep apnea
If snoring were the only indicator, we may have an extremely difficult time diagnosing sleep apnea. Individuals with a chronic snoring problem are encouraged to look for other signs of sleep disorder, which may include:
- Restless sleep
- Waking to use the bathroom one or more times a night
- Waking to drink water one or more times a night
- Noticeable moments of silence in between periods of loud snoring
- Gasping sounds
- Chronic fatigue during daytime hours
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering information
- Chronic headaches, especially upon waking
- Persistent moodiness, irritability, anxiety or depression
Treating sleep apnea
Medical and dental therapies for sleep apnea can restore healthy sleep very quickly. Each type of therapy is non-invasive and each can be highly effective at producing the desired outcome. Dr. Jurina Smida
has received an education in dentistry as well as in biological medicine
. She incorporates her vast knowledge of the jaw and the body to help patients resolve their sleep issues in a comfortable manner that makes compliance easy.
The medical therapy for sleep apnea includes wearing a face or nose mask during sleep. Through this mask, gently forced air is delivered into the airway. This force prevents constriction of the airway. While it is possible to prevent apnea with CPAP therapy, there are also reasons that some patients cannot tolerate this treatment.
The constant forced air from the bedside air compressor may cause drying of the eyes, nasal passages, and throat. Patients may avoid wearing their mask due to feelings of claustrophobia or embarrassment. Whatever the reason for non-compliance, the patient continues to suffer the ill effects of sleep disturbance.
Dr. Smida may suggest oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea. Clinically tested and proven to improve sleep, oral appliances are custom fabricated to the patient's oral and facial structure. When worn, the oral appliance positions the jaw in such a way that the airway comfortably remains open. Research demonstrates a 95 percent improvement rate for apnea symptoms. Additionally, due to the absence of forced air, many patients find oral appliance therapy a tolerable solution for sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea and snoring can severely affect your overall wellness. We are happy to consult with you about your concerns and discuss possible solutions designed around your needs.
Call Dental Care and Wellness of Sonoma County today.
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