Snoring, while frustrating, is usually a harmless habit. We all snore sometimes, such as when we have a cold or are bothered by seasonal allergies. But, did you know that in some cases, snoring can be an indication of a much more serious problem?
If you suffer from chronic snoring, you may be experiencing sleep apnea, a condition that negatively affects the way you breathe while you’re sleeping, causing your air intake to be lessened or even blocked altogether countless times each night. Sleep apnea can cause debilitating symptoms, including constant daytime exhaustion and severe headaches, and if left untreated for too long, it can lead to even more devastating complications. We offer sleep apnea treatment in Leesburg, VA to help patients sleep soundly.
There are two forms of sleep apnea. One is neurologically based, but the far more common form is called obstructive sleep apnea. When this happens, your tongue and the tissues in your throat relax just like the rest of your body, but they have a tendency to fall back further into your throat. As a result, your airway becomes partially or even fully blocked. When you try to breathe, the air vibrates this tissue, causing the most common side effect of sleep apnea—loud snoring.
In addition to loud snoring, other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
Unfortunately, sleep apnea is a condition that can also lead to a number of systemic illnesses and diseases. Research shows that there is a connection between sleep apnea and high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
In addition, the daytime drowsiness that sleep apnea causes is often the reason behind many car accidents. Thus, for the sake of getting a good night of sleep, avoiding general health problems, and staying safe behind the wheel, treating sleep apnea is imperative.
If there appears to be an issue, we’ll recommend that you seek out a diagnosis from a doctor or sleep specialist. In most cases of mild to moderate sleep apnea (or if a breathing machine like a CPAP is not tolerated), we can make a customized oral appliance to help eliminate dangerous lapses in breathing.
An oral appliance is made of smooth plastic and is designed to gently shift your lower jaw slightly forward. This small movement helps to keep your airway clear so you can breathe freely.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms of sleep apnea, please call our dental office to schedule a consultation.