By Marianna Kovitch, D.M.D., DABDSM
Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone. Snoring can interrupt sleep and annoy significant others and roommates. But, more importantly, snoring offers a warning sign for unwanted health issues and may even lead to severe health conditions.
The causes of snoring aren’t all fully understood, but evidence supports that obesity and obstructive sleep apnea both contribute to snoring. Excessive weight puts pressure on your airway making it harder for air to pass through. The pressure makes it easier for mucus or saliva to build up and cause blockages.
Sleep apnea is a medical condition where patients stop breathing during sleep. While some people wake up gasping for breath, others are unaware of the problem. Sleep apnea not only causes snoring but contributes to other health risks. Medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, asthma, sinuses problems and enlarged tonsils and adenoids increase the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
How Does Snoring Impact Your Health?
If left untreated, snoring can negatively impact your health and quality of life. Also, it affects your partner’s sleep. Both snoring and sleep apnea link to specific health conditions. Take snoring seriously to avoid health complications.
• High Blood Pressure – Shallow breathing due to blocked nasal passages provides less oxygen than usual. Blood vessels then constrict, leading to a rise in blood pressure. Over time, if you don’t get treatment, this could lead to hypertension.
• Stroke or Heart Attack – The increase in blood pressure and poor blood circulation increases the risk of stroke or heart attack. Plus, poor quality sleep increases inflammation levels within the brain, raising the chances of having a stroke.
• Diabetes – According to the American Diabetes Association, there is a link between people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and patients with type 2 diabetes.
• Depression – Studies show that depression rates among sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea are higher than average.
• Memory Loss – Poor quality sleep means that you won’t remember things clearly and easily.
• Weight Gain – Because of the lack of proper sleep, your metabolism slows down and causes weight gain. How To Stop Snoring and Improve Your Health For patients suffering from sleep apnea, visit your doctor, dentist or sleep specialist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Typically, a sleep apnea treatment plan includes interventions during sleep using an oral appliance or CPAP machine. Lifestyle changes like weight loss, limiting alcohol use and smoking cessation, also help prevent snoring.
• Oral Appliances – An oral appliance works well to treat mild cases of snoring and improve airflow. The device works by changing the space between your tongue and soft palate to create a clear airway for continual breathing.
• CPAP Machines – Doctors commonly recommend CPAP machines to treat sleep apnea. These machines use pressurized air to push against your nose and mouth to keep your airways open throughout the night. They don’t cure the underlying problem, but they help relieve the symptoms.
Curious about how Good Night Sleep can help with your snoring problem? Hear more from them here.
Find the Help You Need to Prevent Snoring The professional dental team at Atlanta Smiles believes that good oral health and a beautiful smile find their foundation in total body wellness. We offer sleep apnea treatment with custom oral appliances designed to improve your sleep and reduce the occurrences of snoring.
If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, contact us today. We’d love to discuss how we can help you improve your health and quality of life.
Marianna Kovitch, D.M.D., is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (DABDSM). Dr. Kovitch received her Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia after earning her Bachelor of Science with honors in chemistry as well as recognition in research publications for her work in biochemistry from Georgia State University. Dr. Kovitch has been an active board member of the Academy of General Dentistry since 2013 and has been a contributor to the development of dentistry excellence in Georgia.
Marianna Kovitch, D.M.D., DABDSM • Atlanta Smiles •goodnightsleepga.com • 404.262.7733