Stopping Snoring Could be Lifesaving?
She kisses him goodnight and turns over on her side. He turns in the opposite direction and begins to fall into the arms of Morpheus. Two hours go by, and she is rudely awakened by the disturbing sound of “sawing wood.” It’s his loud irritating snoring. She kicks him and he awakens suddenly, gasping for air and asking, “Why’d you kick me?” Sounds familiar?
Sleep disorders have become an important issue. Fifty to seventy million adults in the United States have a sleep disorder with obstructive sleep apnea being one of the most prevalent. This means having some form of blockage in your airway during sleep. It shows itself with snoring or your sudden waking while gasping for air. Sometimes your sleep partner might shake you to stop snoring because of its disturbing sound, which prevents them from sleeping. It is a very common condition in those over 40 and others who are overweight. Sleep apnea is dangerous because if left untreated it can lead to high blood pressure, and an increased chance of heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, and heart failure. Studies show that sleep apnea can decrease life expectancy by several years. Here are some signs of obstructive sleep apnea, which you should be aware of:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking
- Awakening with a dry mouth or throat
- Morning headache
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
If you or a loved one experience any of these conditions you should contact your physician or dentist. Your physician can diagnose it while your dentist can treat it. Ask if they are experienced in treating this condition. Inquire of your dentist if he/she is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and if they are certified by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. These doctors usually have greater experience and do not just dabble in this field.
In the past, one would have to wear a CPAP device mask delivering high flow air into your throat. Recently, it’s been discovered that these devices are being recalled due to cancer causing issues with the air hose. The solution is with a dental appliance, which dentists have been fabricating for years helping these patients. It resembles a dental bite retainer, which repositions your lower jaw into a more favorable relationship with your upper jaw. This allows more air to enter your lungs without your suffering from obstruction. Simple and easy. Most major medical insurance companies make benefits available for this, while many dentists do not even take copays.
Frankly, this is a no-brainer. Imagine, a simple device replacing the CPAP machine with no out of pocket expenses. Why wouldn’t anyone want to take advantage of this?
Sleep well. Goodnight.