Is Snoring Dangerous?Saturday, October 10th, 2015, 7:57 pm
When you talk about snoring people usually start laughing — snoring has been the butt of jokes since before the days of the Three Stooges. Snoring really isn’t a laughing matter — not for the person who snores and definitely not for their long suffering bed partner.
Snoring happens when the soft tissues of the mouth and throat relax during sleep and partially block the airway. Breathing in and out makes these tissues flutter and gives us the awful snoring sound. People who sleep with people who snore know the drill – lots of elbows to get the snorer to roll over or else grabbing a pillow and heading to the couch.
While annoying, this hardly sounds dangerous — but heavy snoring has been shown to heavy significantly increase the risk of carotid atherosclerosis by causing irritation to the carotid artery. Heavy snoring is also a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious sleep breathing disorder that causes people to stop breathing during sleep. These pauses in breath place great stress on the body and, left untreated, can lead to heart attack, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction and even early death.
Overnight sleep studies are used to diagnose these sleep disorders. These are conducted in a sleep lab, although home tests are becoming more common. During the sleep test the patient is hooked to sensors that track breathing, sleep levels, movement, heart rate and more. All of the data is then reviewed by a sleep physician who can give a diagnosis.
Why is a dentist writing about snoring and sleep apnea? Because dentists who have received training in dental sleep medicine are the perfect choice to solve the problem of snoring and stoppages of breath during sleep.
Using an oral appliance, called a mandibular advancement device, your sleep apnea dentist can place your jaw in a position that stops the snoring! This same device keeps patients with sleep apnea breathing throughout the night without using a CPAP.
Find out more about getting a quiet, restful night of sleep (without the couch) by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777.