By Jill M. Golsen, DMD
When you got married your partner didn’t snore. Now, there is a chain saw in the bedroom. You have now moved to the guest room. You are grumpy, have dark circles under your eyes, are always tired and are probably grinding your teeth too! Or, even worse, your child is snoring and sleeping with his or her mouth open and not breathing well! They are grinding their baby teeth down to nubs and everyone just says, “Oh, it’s normal.”
This is not just snoring. Behind the “snoring curtain” are issues that must be diagnosed and resolved! There are so many levels to this problem. People can die during an apneic event because they stop breathing! At the very least when we snore, we are not going into deep sleep. It’s all about the airway and if it’s blocked, which is not good.
Resolving the Issue
In our office, we see people who are grinding their teeth or their front gums might be red and bleeding, which is our first clue that something is wrong. Next, we ask a few questions about their sleep habits. The CPAP machine is not always the answer. So don’t stop reading! After a discussion with the patient, we talk about the route to diagnosing this issue. Since there can be so many causes and treatment options, it’s important to not put the same label on everyone. We must listen to the patient and really think about the plan of action. Not getting this resolved can break up marriages! I have had patients come to me who are incredibly upset over their situation. Depending on our chat, we determine if it’s a sinus or dental issue.
If it’s a sinus issue, I always refer my patients to a great ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist who knows sleep issues and how to resolve them. You want to get this resolved! In children, this is terrible to let go on. So please don’t! Children especially feel the effects. Chronic sinusitis, throat infections, mouth breathing, flattened baby teeth, poor performance in school—these are all signs. Facial bone development can be affected by a child’s inability to breath. Think about that.
If any of this sounds familiar, “Houston, we have a problem!” Another round of antibiotics for their 6th sinus infection is not acceptable! Your poor child needs to be seen by an appropriate doctor who can resolve the issue.
After a thorough evaluation by us, and possibly an ENT doctor, and maybe a sleep study for a spouse, then the recommended treatment can be prescribed. This could be as simple as an appliance to wear to change the jaw position or nasal or sinus surgery.
Any of the prescribed solutions will help you breathe better and sleep better, which will make you feel better!
Get your partner back in the bedroom! Call our office if anyone in your family snores! We would love to help guide you and your family to be healthier—and happier!
Golsen Family Dentistry • Jill M. Golsen, DMD • (770) 667-0669 • GolsenDental.com