There’s no question that snoring can make for a bad night’s sleep.

If you happen to snore, then your significant other probably has a difficult time getting the rest they need. Keep in mind, though, that snoring is nothing to take lightly. After all, it could be that you have obstructive sleep apnea and not even know it.

Let’s take a closer look at snoring and sleep apnea in general.

Have you ever wondered why people snore? Well, snoring occurs when the airway through which we breathe becomes partially blocked by the tongue. This blockage is what causes a rattling sound.

Just because you snore every now and then doesn’t necessarily mean that you have obstructive sleep apnea. For the purpose of this post, let’s say that you do have the condition. Even though you go to bed at a normal time, you wake up as if you barely slept at all.

So what happens if your sleep apnea goes untreated? Unfortunately, you could experience some of the following health challenges:

  1. High blood pressure – Perhaps you’ve had high blood pressure for years. With the combination of dietary changes, exercise, and medication, you’ve been able to successfully manage your pressure. A sleep apnea diagnosis throws a curveball into your efforts. Here’s the thing: when you wake up multiple times a night, your body gets stressed. In a domino effect, your hormone systems must work extremely hard, raising blood pressure levels. There’s also the fact that the level of oxygen in your blood drops when you can’t breathe well at night. That’s why it’s imperative to speak with your doctor about the connection between obstructive sleep apnea and high blood pressure.
  2. Heart disease – Those with sleep apnea are more likely to have heart attacks. Potential causes include everything from low oxygen to the stress of waking up often. It’s important to know that obstructive sleep apnea disrupts how your body takes in oxygen. As a result, it can be difficult for your brain to effectively control how blood flows in the brain and throughout arteries.
  3. Type 2 diabetes – Experts have yet to pinpoint a true cause-and-effect link between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. That said, it has been proven that insufficient sleep can prevent your body from using insulin properly. A whopping 80 percent of those with Type 2 diabetes may have obstructive sleep apnea.
  4. Weight gain – The more weight you put on, the more challenging it is to get a good night’s sleep. Another thing most people don’t know is that sleep apnea can make your body release an excess of the hormone ghrelin. Why is this worth mentioning? Well, ghrelin is what makes us crave carbs and sweets. Plus, if you’re constantly tired, you might have a hard time turning the food you eat into energy as easily. Rest assured that sleep apnea treatment can make a huge difference when it comes to weight loss.
  5. Acid reflux – Obstructive sleep apnea alone doesn’t cause heartburn. Yet a sizable percentage of those with the condition say that acid reflux is a problem. If you want to take charge of your heartburn once and for all, we recommend seeking treatment for your sleep apnea first.
  6. General fatigue – While this might be the most obvious challenge with sleep apnea, it’s certainly worth mentioning. Who really enjoys feeling tired and groggy all the time? You aren’t yourself without a good night’s sleep. Should you choose not to address your sleep apnea, you can say goodbye to productivity at work and fun outings with loved ones. There’s also the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Here’s a must-know piece of information: people with obstructive sleep apnea are nearly five times more likely than those without the condition to have a car accident.

Sleep Apnea Treatment From Our Family Dentist

Are your concerned about your snoring? Does sleep apnea run in your family? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then it’s time to take action.

Years ago, medical professionals were extremely limited in how they could treat sleep apnea. Surgery, medications, and the dreaded CPAP tended to be the only options.

At our Sandy family dental care office, we have found that patients prefer a mouthguard type of oral appliance. Here’s the thing: these innovative oral appliances reduce sleep apnea associated health risks without the need for traditionally uncomfortable treatments.

So, how does the oral appliance work? It basically holds the lower jaw forward and open. This prevents the tongue and any throat tissues from restricting the critical passage.

You can feel comfortable knowing there is a 96 percent success rate for people treated with these appliances.

Effective Sleep Apnea Remedies

Sleep apnea testing can be a long, uncomfortable, and expensive process. Not to worry, though, as our dental care team has a proven alternative.

The Ares Unicorder allows you to take your sleep apnea test from the comfort of your home. By measuring oxygen saturation, nasal airflow, pulse rate, snoring, REM/non REM, and head movement, you can easily obtain an accurate representation of your sleep pattern.

Don’t let obstructive sleep apnea continue to dictate your life. When you contact our dentist clinic, you can count on us to evaluate your condition and come up with a customized treatment to fit your needs.

It’s our belief that you deserve a great night’s sleep. Schedule an appointment at our family dentist office today.