A Quiet, Quality Night’s Rest Isn’t Far Away
Restful sleep is vital to your daily life. From processing emotions to keeping your energy levels optimal, natural sleep cycles help your brain recover and reset your body and mind from what you’ve experienced the day before. Unfortunately, if you’re suffering from sleep apnea or snoring, there’s a good chance that you and even your loved ones aren’t getting the proper rest needed to stay sharp and healthy.
Complications and disturbances caused by sleep apnea and snoring can lead to restless nights, poor work performance, strained relationships, and negative impacts on your health. To help ensure our patients get the good night’s sleep they need, our Farmington sleep apnea dentists offer snoring and sleep apnea treatment.
What Is Snoring and Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissues in your throat. This vibration occurs because the tissues are relaxed, and the air is forced to travel through a more narrow opening. It causes the tissues to flutter, creating the vibrations that produce the sound we call snoring.
Snoring isn’t always a problem, but if your snoring is overly loud or chronic, it might be keeping your bed partners or even members of your household outside of your bedroom awake. Nighttime disturbances and the resulting emotional and physical consequences from the lack of sleep are leading factors in separation. Even when your snoring isn’t keeping people awake, it may point to a more serious problem called sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by intermittent recurring pauses in your breathing during sleep. There are three forms of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form. It’s caused by collapsing soft tissues in your throat completely blocking airflow into the lungs. The harder you try to breathe, the tighter the airway seals, until your brain partially wakes you up.
- Central sleep apnea (CSA) is an especially rare form. CSA occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the body to breathe during sleep. Breathing is repeatedly interrupted without the presence of obstruction.
- Complex (or mixed) sleep apnea (MSA) is when both OSA and CSA are present. MSA is especially rare and not highly understood.
Causes of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Common causes of sleep apnea and snoring can include the following:
- Deviated septum
- High blood pressure
- Jaw misalignment
- Sleep position
- Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
If you feel you may be suffering from snoring or a form of sleep apnea, call our Farmington sleep dentists at (505) 327-4863 to schedule your appointment.
Symptoms of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
The similarities between sleep apnea and snoring can often make it difficult to differentiate between the two. The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring, and snoring can sometimes produce the same symptoms as sleep apnea.
Regardless of whether or not you think your symptoms are apneic, you should reach out to your sleep apnea dentist as soon as you or any of your bed partners notice anything wrong with your sleep or your daytime behavior.
Symptoms of snoring can include the following:
- Quiet vibrations
- Whistling noises
- Loud grumbling sounds
- Dry or sore throat in the morning
- Tossing and turning
- Daytime fatigue
Common symptoms of sleep apnea may include:
- Gasping or choking at night
- Making quiet vibrations and whistles in your sleep
- Loud rumbling during sleep
- Sore throat in the morning
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Tossing and turning
- Problems concentrating
- Frequent nighttime urination
The longer symptoms go untreated, the more serious they tend to become. That’s why seeking effective treatment as soon as possible is vital. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should contact Desert Hills Dental Care by dialing (505) 327-4863.
Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is usually more serious than snoring as the potential consequences extend far beyond restless nights. The consistent lack of sleep and oxygen can lead to multiple problems that affect health and well-being, including the following:
- Heart disease
- Liver problems
- High blood pressure
- Oral cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sexual dysfunction
- Acid reflux
- Complications with medication and surgery
- Memory Loss
- Poor work performance
- Decreased cognitive function/Increased risk of an accident
Getting effective treatment for sleep apnea and snoring can potentially reduce or completely alleviate your symptoms, greatly improving your life. Our Farmington sleep apnea dentists may recommend you undergo a sleep study so you can get an accurate diagnosis. Then, they can offer two forms of treatment for sleep apnea and snoring: CPAP and oral appliance therapy.
Our Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines continuously deliver air pressure into your airway through a mask. You wear the mask while you sleep so the air pressure can keep your airway open, allowing you to breathe easier and helping to alleviate symptoms of both sleep apnea and snoring.
Unfortunately, many patients abandon CPAP treatment for many reasons including the following:
- The mask might be uncomfortable so the patient will remove it during sleep
- The equipment is bulky, making it hard to handle and transport
- CPAP can be costly for some patients
- The machine might be too loud, keeping the patient and their bed partners awake
For your comfort and to ensure the effectiveness of your treatment, the Farmington sleep apnea dentists near you might recommend you try oral appliance therapy instead.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy involves using custom-made mouthguards that you wear during sleep. The mouthguard positions your jaw in such a way that the airways remain open. This makes breathing easier, helping to alleviate symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea.
Other benefits of oral appliance therapy that make it a preferred treatment method include:
- Comfortable, professional fit
- Silence due to lack of electronic components
- Portability for better handling and travel purposes
- Simplicity of use and care
Sleep Apnea Mouthguard Patient Testimonial
“After receiving the results of a sleep study and realizing I had mild to moderate sleep apnea with a low oxygen level of 83%, I knew I had to do something to improve my health! However, I also knew I would not be able to use a CPAP machine! Not only was I imagining the cumbersome mask and restrictive tubing, but also as an avid camper, I could not imagine lugging around such an apparatus and the power pack it would need to run off-grid! When a mouth guard was suggested, I was more than happy to try it. I was recommended to see Dr. Schumacher at Dental Hills Dental Care, which was already my dental provider so that made setting the appointment easy!
After my first appointment and some hi-tech imaging, my mouthguard was sent off to be made. In the meantime, Dr. Schumacher recommended using a snore recording app on my phone to listen to what I sounded like when I snored and to monitor my progress once I started wearing the appliance. After the first recording, I was shocked to hear myself snoring, gasping, and choking trying to breathe throughout the night! Once I received the mouthguard, it took a few visits to Dr. Schumacher to get the correct fit and tension, but once that was customized to my mouth & teeth, my “snore score” began to drop drastically! Over the past 6 months, it has gone from a score of above 50 down to single digits – mostly under 5!! And best of all – my oxygen levels at night have been shown to not go below 90%!
I definitely feel better each morning now that I am not struggling to breathe each night. I am no longer groggy and depressed-feeling when I wake up but instead have clarity, more energy and a brighter outlook on the day! For a few weeks, when my appliance had to go back to the lab, I experienced that old groggy, tired and disgruntled feeling waking up and realized then how much of a difference wearing the mouth guard makes in my ability to get a good night’s sleep.
The mouth guard is very easy to wear. At first I was worried about getting my jaw out of line, but there is a small “exerciser” that I bite on after the mouth guard has been out for 15 minutes and that ensures that my bite goes back to normal within just a few minutes. Also I have not had any residual or immediate pain in my jaws or headaches from the mouth guard pulling my jaw slightly forward while I sleep.
The whole experience has been a very positive one and has definitely improved my sleep and overall health! Dr. Schumacher and his staff have taken great care to ensure the best fit for my mouth guard and have taken me step by step through the process. I would recommend to anyone considering using a CPAP machine to first try wearing a mouth guard at night to see if this easier & simpler remedy will work for them. And I would definitely recommend Dr Schumacher at Dental Hills as the best provider for this sleep apnea solution!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea, but it doesn’t always mean you have that particular sleep disorder. Our sleep apnea dentists will help you figure out if your snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea by recommending you to a sleep specialist for a sleep study. During a sleep study, a machine will record your vitals while you sleep and the data will be analyzed later on.
Chronic snoring and sleep apnea are conditions that aren’t likely to go away on their own. This is especially true for sleep apnea, as it causes a cycle of worsening symptoms when left untreated.
The best way to treat snoring and sleep apnea is to seek professional help. If you’re dealing with loud snoring and/or possible signs of sleep apnea, contact our dental office and we’ll schedule your consultation.
Professional treatment is the best way to control snoring and sleep apnea because a professional can understand the root cause and prescribe more individualized treatment. There are some steps you can take at home that may be able to help you better control your symptoms while you’re waiting to see your sleep apnea dentist.
Your dentist may even suggest these steps along with your professional treatment:
- Talk to a doctor/nutritionist about healthy diet and exercise options
- Sleep on your side
- Ask your primary care provider if you can take decongestants
- Try throat exercises
- Replace your mattress if it’s over ten years old
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco products, especially before bed
- Avoid napping during the day
Sleep apnea on its own isn’t usually fatal. However, untreated sleep apnea can often lead to serious health issues, which can lower your quality of life and your life expectancy. That’s why it’s important to seek effective treatment for sleep apnea as soon as possible.
Visit Desert Hills Dental Care and Get The Sleep You Need!
At Desert Hills Dental Care, we want all of our patients to live their best lives, which is why we offer personalized treatments for sleep apnea and snoring. Whether your problem is apneic or not, we offer methods to help alleviate symptoms, including CPAP alternatives, so you and your loved ones can enjoy the good night’s rest they deserve.
Are you interested in sleeping better and living a better life? Then contact our Farmington Dental office by dialing (505) 327-4863. You can also fill out our contact form and one of our friendly team members can schedule a consultation with one of our sleep apnea dentists. We offer treatment for sleep apnea and snoring to patients from Farmington and surrounding areas such as Kirtland, Spencerville, and Bloomfield, NM.