Dental Sleep Medicine
Snoring Is No Laughing Matter!
Although snorers are a target of bad jokes and middle of the night elbows, loud snoring can be a sign that there is a breathing problem during sleep. Snoring is caused by vibration of narrow air passages during sleep. For many, loud disruptive snoring is more of a social problem that may strain a relationship. But for others, blockage of the airway may cause sleep apnea, a potentially life threatening disorder.
Evaluating The Problem
Along with a thorough medical and surgical history, questioning of your bed partner is helpful in assessing sleeping patterns and waking behavior. A complete head and neck exam will focus on all parts of the breathing passages, including the nose, mouth, throat and jaw structure. Some patients will spend the night in a sleep laboratory to test for sleep apnea. As snoring may be caused by a single area of blockage, most cases involve multiple areas of obstruction.
Help Is Available!
Loud disruptive snoring can be helped by body repositioning and avoidance of certain habits before and during sleep. Over the counter remedies sound great, but offer no more than a short, temporary fix to the problem. Some patients prefer wearing a dental appliance at night to bring the jaw forward during sleep. Others diagnosed with sleep apnea are given a nasal mask, delivering pressurized oxygen during sleep.
The following links will direct you to some websites that have additional information about a variety of sleep disorders, including snoring and sleep apnea conditions. We are sure you will find them to be very informative.