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How Dentists Can Help You Stop Snoring and Improve Sleep Quality

January 7, 2014

Can Dentists Help With Snoring?

According to studies, there are approximately 20 million people in the United States who suffer from snoring and sleep problems and who remain undiagnosed. Sleep problems lead to chronic fatigue and can have major occupational, emotional and physical harmful effects. Fortunately, there are ways to fix this and your dentist can help. If you feel tired and drowsy even after a seemingly full night of sleep, you might want to ask your partner or anyone who sees you sleep if you snore. This can help you get you help. Snoring happens when the soft issues in the back of your throat vibrate as air is forced through a small passage. Some cases of snoring correlate with obstructive sleep apnea that causes a temporary obstruction of the airway, cutting off breathing temporarily. This can be deadly.

Snoring Facts

According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine:

  • Snoring can affect almost anyone.
  • Habitual snoring has been found in an estimated 24 percent of adult women and 40 percent of adult men.
  • Both men and women are more likely to snore as they age. Men become less likely to snore after the age of 70.
  • Alcohol, drugs, muscle relaxers and tobacco products contribute to snoring for both men and women.
  • Obese or overweight people tend to snore because there is more fat tissue in the back of their throats.
  • Pregnancy can increase a woman's change of snoring.
  • An estimated 10 to 12 percent of children snore.
  • Snoring appears to run in families

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

About half of those who snore loudly have some form of sleep apnea. These two have similar causes and symptoms. When you have obstructive sleep apnea, you momentarily stop beating and when your blood oxygen levels drop low enough, your body wakes up. You may or may not be aware of this. This is why you feel tired and drowsy all the time. Snorers who from sleep may make gasping, choking or snorting sounds as they try to breathe and feel drained of energy during the day.

How Dentists Can Help With Snoring

Before a dentist can help you with your snoring, he needs to perform a diagnostic confirmation test. Dr. Reese confirms sleep apnea through HST (Home Sleep Testing) and doesn’t require you to get admitted to a hospital overnight.  A firsthand experience of a patient narrates how the home sleep study unit called Braebon Media Byte, Jr. is very easy to use and comfortable. Once Dr. Reese confirms your blood oxygen levels went below normal levels several times during your sleep, he would recommend that you be fitted for an oral snoring appliance.

How Oral Appliance Therapy Helps You with Snoring

An oral appliance is like an athletic mouth guard. It works by forcing the lower jaw down and forward slightly. This offers tremendous help in keeping the airway open preventing problems in breathing. This device is custom made as it requires fitting on your jaw. It is discreet and comfortable to use at night, allowing you to sleep as normally as possible. Most patients find it only takes a couple of weeks to get used to wearing the appliance, similar to wearing braces. This is a better alternative to surgery as it is reversible and non-invasive. These are also small and convenient.

Dr. Reese Can Help You Stop Snoring

There are different ways to help you stop snoring. Diet, exercise and elevating one’s head four inches above the bed when sleeping are just some of the methods available. However, you need to get help if you suffer from sleep apnea. Ongoing and follow-up care is an essential step in the treatment of snoring with Oral Appliance Therapy. Follow-up care assesses the progression of the treatment of your sleep disorder, the condition of your appliance, your physical response to your appliance to ensure its effectiveness. Dentists with training in oral appliance therapy like Dr. Reese are familiar with the various designs of appliances and can help determine which is best suited for your specific needs. Allow yourself to get a good night’s sleep. Set up an appointment today by calling 317-882-0228.