Snoring

Snoring is Different Than Sleep Apnea

Snoring and Sleep Apnea often get confused and mixed up a lot, which means not everyone will understand if their condition is worse than it seems. Even though we don’t want to admit it, all of us have probably snored at least once in our lifetime. And, while that is the case, it is not as common for us to be diagnosed with sleep apnea. With distinct symptoms for each of the terms, it is easy to determine which of the two you possess.

What is Snoring?
Snoring can be loud and unpleasant — and may make your significant other the target of some light-hearted joking — but it can also be a sign of an alarming condition referred to as obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused by an obstruction of the upper airway. Whether you’ve been woken up due to your partner’s snoring, or they have been woken up due to your snoring, it is a sound you just can’t ignore.
Snoring is ultimately due to obstructed air movement during breathing when sleeping. In turn, the respiratory structures start vibrating, which is the noise you are able to hear. The obstruction of breathing is often caused by an elongated soft palate, a large tongue or obstruction in the nasal cavity, or the uvula (the tissue that hangs in the back of your throat).
Snoring generally involves the softer structures of the throat and nasal passages obstructing the airway during sleep, which is why it’s so often tied to sleep apnea as an early symptom. Irregular airflow can also factor into sleep deprivation and can be caused by a number of possible structural issues, including:
     • The muscles of the throat relaxing during sleep
     • A mispositioned jaw
     • The tissues of the airway touching and creating vibrations
     • Sleeping on your back, which may result in your tongue dropping to the back of your mouth

Snoring

Snoring is Different Than Sleep Apnea

Oral Appliance Therapy for Relief

As you may already know, the American Sleep Disorder Association endorsed oral appliance therapy as the third currently acceptable treatment modality for snoring and sleep apnea. The largest number of patients who currently suffer from sleep apnea are in the mild to moderate categories and should be treated with oral appliances. Despite the fact that treatment with the CPAP machine is extremely successful, there are a number of patients who cannot or choose not to wear the face mask with the attached air compressor.

For these patients, oral appliances provided by a dentist trained in dental sleep medicine are proving to be an excellent treatment option. There are three types of oral appliance currently available for the treatment of sleep apnea:

  • Soft palatal life appliance
  • Tongue retaining appliance
  • Mandibular repositioner

Snoring

Snoring is Different Than Sleep Apnea

Bruxism

What is Bruxism?

Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Signs of Sleep Apnea

What are the warning signs of Sleep Apnea?

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