Does your spouse often poke you in the ribs at night for snoring too loudly? You are not alone. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 40% of men and 24% of women are habitual snorers. Although it is a common issue, it can often be an indicator of a larger underlying problem. It could be a sign that you are among the 22 million Americans who suffer from a disorder known as sleep apnea. This condition causes frequent pauses in breathing while you sleep, which can significantly harm your general health and quality of life if it is left untreated. To protect your health, it is important to undergo testing for sleep apnea in Arlington Heights if you live with chronic snoring.
Why Do I Snore?
You know that snoring can cause your spouse and those around you to lose sleep at night due to the loud sounds, but do you know what causes it? It occurs when the air flow through the passages at the back of your mouth and nose become blocked. Often, they collapse where the tongue and upper throat connect near the uvula. As you breathe, it causes them to hit each other, resulting in the sounds.
Could it Be Sleep Apnea?
Often, chronic snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, which occurs when the air passages in the throat narrow. This causes several pauses in breathing throughout the night. This can be the result of poor muscle tone in the tongue or throat, excessive throat tissue, a large soft palate or uvula, or an obstruction in the nasal airways.
No matter the cause, the pauses in breathing will place a strain on your heart due to decreased oxygen in the body. Over time, this can heighten your risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. You will also notice several changes to your quality of life due to poor sleep quality, such as depression, loss of concentration, exhaustion, and more.
To improve your daily life, your dentist can help. With sleep dentistry in Arlington Heights, you can stop the snoring while breathing easier to protect your health.
How Can I Treat Sleep Apnea?
After undergoing a sleep study, your dentist will determine if the sleep disorder is the cause of your snoring. If it is, an oral appliance will likely be recommended. It is a custom-fit device that is worn at night while you sleep. It works by repositioning the lower jaw forward to keep the airways open. This has been shown to be effective for treating mild to moderate cases of the sleep disorder.
If chronic snoring is causing you to lose sleep, do not wait. Contact your dentist today.
About Dr. Brian Zulawinski
Dr. Brian Zulawinski received his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree in 2000. He has also completed hundreds of hours of continued education to offer many areas of specialty, including the treatment of sleep apnea. If you suffer from the sleep disorder or chronic snoring, do not wait. Contact Sleep Better with Arlington Dental Associates today to schedule your consultation.