We hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We also hope you enjoyed a delicious meal.
Turkey, mashed potatoes, buttery rolls, and dessert leave many of us feeling full and ready for a nap. Maybe you nodded off on the couch for a cat nap as well.
Maybe it wasn’t you, but one of your relatives snoring away, oblivious to everything going on around him or her. Someone else snoring in the middle of the afternoon can even be a little entertaining.
If they are still snoring come bedtime, well … that’s another story, especially if you are in the same bed, same room, or the same hallway.
Everyone snores sometime, but if you or someone you love snores every time they sleep, it might be a good time to see us. Snoring may be a symptom of a bigger problem, but Beaumont Family Dentistry in Lexington can help. Our three locations make it convenient for you, no matter where you live in Central Kentucky.
Snoring and your sleep quality
If you snore loudly and constantly throughout the night, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. People with this condition have difficulty breathing while they are asleep, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Your snoring is evidence that you are having trouble getting breath in and out of your airways, and it may explain why you don’t feel rested after a night’s sleep.
Doctors have identified three different types of sleep apnea.
The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when the muscles in your throat are too relaxed while you sleep. This blocks your airway and limits your ability to move air into and out of your lungs.
Central sleep apnea starts in your brain rather than in your throat. When people with this are asleep, their brains do not send the correct signals to the muscles that control their breathing.
The least common form of sleep apnea is complex sleep apnea syndrome. People with this type of sleep apnea have blockages in their airways and their brains may fail to send the correct signals to their breathing muscles.
Before we get into possible treatments for sleep apnea, let’s discuss some of the other symptoms and side effects of sleep apnea.
When you have sleep apnea, you may not be getting deep, quality sleep. This explains why you may still feel tired after waking up in the morning. You also might wake up frequently throughout the night.
This can leave you feeling sleep deprived, which can affect your mood and your energy level. Do people describe you as grumpy? Do you find yourself fighting off sleep many afternoons? If the answer is yes, you might not be sleep enough or sleeping well.
At work or at school, sleep deprivation can affect your ability to stay focused on whatever you are doing. Worse, it can cause you to doze off momentarily. If this happens at a desk, you could risk an embarrassing moment. If it happens behind the wheel of your car, it could be much worse.
As we alluded to above, the snoring that results from your sleep apnea creates problems for your loved ones as well. This may be keeping them awake at night, which can leave them feeling sleep deprived as well.
All that is to say, by finding a solution to your snoring problem, you may be helping everyone in your family, too.
Talk to your dentist
Dentists cannot help with every case of sleep apnea, but we can help treat mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. If you come to our office, we can get you started on finding a solution, whether it’s something we can provide or not.
We will start by asking you fill out a questionnaire. Your sleep partner may want to join you to help answer some of the questions about your sleep habits.
If your answers suggest that sleep apnea is a possibility, we can assist in scheduling you for a sleep study either at sleep clinic or an at-home sleep study. This will allow a clinic to determine if you do have sleep apnea.
The most common sleep apnea treatment is a CPAP machine. CPAP is short for continuous positive airway pressure, and the machine blows air into your airway to keep it open so you can breathe.
Unfortunately, many people have problems with CPAPs. Some people find the masks uncomfortable or just refuse to use it.
In 2006, oral appliances were approved as an alternative treatment for some cases of obstructive sleep apnea. If this is your diagnosis, we can create a custom-fitted mouthpiece for you.
This mouthpiece will change the position of your jaw while you sleep. This will keep your airways open so you can breathe easier and sleep better.
Once you get used to the mouthpiece, you will be sleeping better and longer, and so will your loved ones.
Come talk to us
Talk to your sleep partner if you recognize any of the sleep apnea symptoms we mentioned above. They can confirm if your snoring is a problem for you (and for them).
Sleep apnea is treatable, and treating it can improve your alertness, focus, and mood. You and the people you love deserve to sleep well. Treating your condition makes that possible.
Call Beaumont Family Dentistry at 859-554-1772 to set up your consultation at one of our Lexington locations, or fill out our online form to make an appointment.
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