500 Crystal Falls Pkwy, Leander, TX 78641, (512) 260-7400



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By Crystal Falls Dental
March 11, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Sleep ApneaIs snoring disturbing your sleep and that of your spouse, too? Frankly, loud and frequent snoring can be more than a relationship issue. During a snoring episode, the soft tissues in the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat vibrate, creating the characteristic "ZZZZZZZ" noise. This sound can happen when someone has a cold or is sleeping with their mouth open.

However, instead of simple snoring, the real issue may be sleep apnea, a serious health problem that affects millions of middle-aged men and women, some children and many individuals over the age of 65. When a person has sleep apnea they don't only snore, they actually stop breathing.

If ignored, sleep apnea can lead to heart attack, stroke, hypertension and heart arrhythmias. Fortunately, this common health condition is something that can be evaluated and treated by primary care doctors, sleep physicians and dentists.

Signs that snoring is sleep apnea

Besides the obvious symptom of loud and frequent snoring, sleep apnea is characterized by:

  • breathing that stops during sleep
  • sleepiness during the day
  • insomnia
  • memory fogginess
  • inattentiveness and poor concentration
  • headaches
  • mood swings and depression

Kinds of sleep apnea

There are 2 kinds of sleep apnea:

  1. Central. This happens when the brain does not communicate with the muscles in the chest that tell a person to breathe.
  2. Obstructive. This occurs when the soft tissues of the throat are floppy and obstruct airflow.
  3. Mixed. Some individuals have a combination of the other 2 kinds of sleep apnea.

What to do if snoring is really sleep apnea

A physician can determine how medically dangerous a person's snoring is, and there are several courses of treatment. Some involve surgical reconstruction of the structures at the back of the throat. Another intervention is CPAP or Continuous Positive Air Pressure. Individuals who use CPAP wear a mask at night which delivers a continuous stream of oxygen. This air flow helps keep the airway open and the person breathing normally.

For mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, some health care providers recommend a nighttime mouth guard. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) states that these guards resemble those worn by athletes. They prevent the soft tissues of the mouth from blocking the throat by changing the position of the tongue or by moving the lower jaw forward. Professionals agree that mouth guards can alleviate sleep apnea. The best devices are fitted by a dentist who has experience treating sleep disorders.

Optimum health

At Crystal Falls Dental in Leander, Texas, Doctors Loftus and Anderson want you to have a healthy, attractive smile. They provide a range of restorative and cosmetic dental services for the entire family. Also, they want your overall health to be its best, too. If you are concerned about snoring, call Doctors Loftus and Anderson to set-up a consultation. They would be happy to answer your questions and get you the right treatment. Call them at (989) 799-6250.