Moderate to severe levels of snoring may really be Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) otherwise termed “sleep disordered breathing.” Sleep apnea is associated with cardiovascular disease, daytime sleepiness and even increased mortality. To correctly identify the disorder there are simple, cost-effective sleep screening tools used by a trained sleep dentist.
Snoring is a breathing noise that occurs while someone is sleeping. The actual snoring sound is produced from the vibration of the soft palate and sides of the throat when air rushes against them.
The sound of snoring occurs when the airway collapses and the muscles fail to maintain their normal function. A few of the medical and dental conditions that can lead to snoring are:
In recent years, snoring has been acknowledged as a warning sign that normal breathing is not taking place. For the majority of adults, snoring does not involve a serious medical disorder. However, snoring may be the first sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
The noisy sounds of snoring occur when there is an obstruction to the flow of air through the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula. Snoring occurs when these structures get close to touching each other and vibrate during breathing. When they do touch each other and don’t vibrate, then that individual has one apneic event.
Is snoring serious?
Yes! While it is socially annoying to the bed partner and may sometimes wake the snorer, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. Only a licensed professional medical provider can tell you for sure if you have sleep apnea.
The treatment of sleep apnea with a dental appliance will reduce and often ELIMINATE snoring for the person wearing the appliance.