Snoring can disrupt the sleep of others, but could your snoring affect your health? Surveys indicate that as many as 90 million Americans snore at one time or another. While snoring itself may be benign and not cause for concern, there are times when snoring could indicate a serious disorder.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can be potentially fatal. Treatment is possible when it comes to sleep apnea, allowing not just restful sleep but also proper health. Let’s look at the difference between harmless snoring and harmful sleep apnea and how visiting your dentist can help.
Snoring vs. Sleep Apnea
Snoring and sleep apnea deal with obstructions in the air pathways during sleep.
Snoring can be benign. It can be caused by anything that can obstruct your air pathways but does not block it completely. Meaning you can breathe throughout the night.
Being able to breathe is impossible with obstructive sleep apnea, where the air pathways are completely shut. This results in micro-wakes, where your body wakes up to reset breathing. These periods of wakefulness are typically very small and unnoticeable. This is why people with sleep apnea may often not know they have it.
Often, they may experience extreme fatigue, even when they think they have been getting a full night’s rest.
To know if you have sleep apnea, look for these symptoms:
- Difficulties with concentration and memory
- Chest pain at night
- Changes in mood
- Sore throat when waking up
Sleep apnea can be difficult to identify by yourself. It is important to visit a doctor if you feel fatigued despite feeling like you’ve been getting proper rest.
How the Dentist Can Treat Sleep Apnea
Your dentist can begin by identifying if you have obstructive sleep apnea or if your excessive fatigue could be a sign of something else.
They may begin treatment by suggesting lifestyle changes. For example, weight loss has been shown to reduce the severity of sleep apnea by nearly 50%.
If weight isn’t the issue or if weight loss doesn’t help, your dentist has a variety of solutions, from machinery and aids to surgery, if needed.
Find Sleep Apnea Treatment With Dr. Eric Wiitala
Sleep apnea can be a potentially fatal disorder. That is why you shouldn’t delay when seeking help. Snoring accompanied by fatigue may not mean sleep apnea but don’t take the risk.
Dr. Eric Wiitala knows the risks of sleep apnea, which is why he and his team offer a variety of treatments. They are willing and dedicated to providing you with exceptional care with results.
To schedule an appointment, call their Scottsdale, AZ, dental office at 480-657-6981.