The Dangers Of Snoring

The Dangers of Snoring
Posted on 04/09/2019
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Your children may think it’s funny. Your spouse finds it annoying. And, you may just want to deny it. But if you’re one of the approximately 90 million American adults affected by snoring, you should know the truth - that snoring can be a signal of serious issues and can lead to both emotional and physical problems - from sleep apnea to heart disease. The experts at Federici Dental not only work with our Manahawkin patients to provide general and cosmetic dentistry, we also want to make sure our patients understand the dangers of snoring, identify the causes, and supply a solution, if possible. As members of both the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and New Jersey Sleep Society, Federici Dental experts are always at the forefront of the most innovative treatments for sleep apnea including CPAP alternatives to your snoring issues.


What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is the rough or noisy sound that happens when air moves past relaxed soft tissues in the back of your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate against each other as you breathe making a rattling sound. Throat and tongue muscles can become relaxed as a result of deep sleep, alcohol consumption, or the use of some sleeping pills. Normal aging can also cause further relaxation of these muscles. Your nasal airway could also be obstructed from allergies or sinus infection or a structural change like a deviated septum which can also cause snoring. Overweight people often have bulky throat tissue which can narrow airways and those with a long soft palate or uvula (the dangling tissue in the back of your mouth) can also have a more closed opening from the nose to the throat. While everyone snores on occasion, it can be a chronic problem for some people. Snoring can happen every night or sporadically. Men and anyone who is overweight are most at risk and it can become more serious as you get older.

Detrimental Effects Of Snoring

On average, we spend about 25 to 35 percent of our lives sleeping. Sleep allows both our body and brain to rest and recuperate from the pressures of daily life. As such, trouble sleeping can cause a range of health difficulties, and if left untreated, serious consequences.

1. Sleep Disruption/Tiredness

The most common complaint of people who snore (and those who sleep with them) is the disruption in a good night’s sleep. Snoring can cause disruptions to your own sleep and your bed partner's sleep. Snoring can fragment your sleep patterns leading to bouts of wakefulness and leave you exhausted affecting your relationships and quality of life. At Federici Dental, our experts work closely with both local respiratory pulmonologists and your primary care provider to have your home sleep studies completed so that you can determine the cause and develop a treatment plan.

2. Sleep Apnea

While there are several types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type we see in our Manahawkin patients. OSA is a sleep disorder that is when the obstruction in your airway results in you periodically pausing your breathing. Because of that, your brain undergoes repeated moments of suffocating. This is usually followed by a loud snort as you gasp for air when the brain tells you it’s not getting enough oxygen. About half of the people who snore loudly have OSA. The symptoms of sleep apnea are relatively easy to spot and it’s important to develop a treatment plan. Treatment of sleep apnea can improve chronic headaches, mood, energy levels, wakefulness, memory, and cognition. Left untreated, OSA can leave you at an increased risk of obesity and dementia (brain damage). Lengthy suffering from obstructive sleep apnea often results in higher blood pressure and may cause enlargement of the heart, with higher risks of heart attack and stroke. Sleep apnea results in lower oxygen levels in the blood which can lead to constricted blood vessels in the lungs and eventually pulmonary hypertension.


3. Artery Abnormalities

There’s a new study that shows negative changes in the carotid artery are caused by the vibrations of snoring and can be a precursor to atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries responsible for many vascular diseases. Researchers say that this thickening is plaque build-up inside your arteries because of the trauma and inflammation of the vibration. This happens even if you don’t have sleep apnea. Doctors warn that this means that snoring could put you at greater risk for carotid artery abnormalities than even people who are overweight, smoke or have high cholesterol.


How To Treat Snoring

1. Lifestyle Changes

One way to reduce snoring is by making some changes in your lifestyle. Changes that could impact snoring include losing weight, controlling blood pressure, quitting smoking or drinking, avoiding alcohol close to bedtime and sleeping on your side.

2. Medical Devices

There are a variety of medical devices available to reduce snoring or treat sleep apnea. One of the most common is the CPAP machine. A CPAP machine helps a person who has OSA breathe more easily during sleep by increasing the air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn’t collapse when you breathe in. It involves wearing a mask over your face every night while you sleep. Federici Dental offers an alternative to the CPAP machine in the form of Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). We offer two types of oral appliance options. These appliances are worn inside your mouth during sleep and serve to advance the lower jaw forward and, in some cases, open the bite, to create more airway space allowing you to breathe more freely.

3. Surgery

Oral surgery is another option that is available that may reduce disruptive snoring but may not be suitable or necessary for everyone who snores.

Contact Federici Dental For Sleep Apnea Treatment Today!

Snoring is more than a bedtime annoyance and definitely shouldn't be ignored. Our doctors and staff at Federici Dental recommend that our Manahawkin area patients seek treatment for snoring just like they would if they knew they had sleep apnea, high blood pressure or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. If your snoring is disrupting your quality of life, or you think you may have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with the experts at Federici Dental today! Call 609.597.1234 or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get a restful sleep every night!