If your sleeping partner snores habitually, you may have lost sleep one or more nights due to the noisome interruptions. If you snore, you may not even realize that you are keeping your partner awake, other than the discussions that are bound to follow. In some cases, however, your partner’s frustration may not be the only thing that you don’t notice when you’re sleeping. Snoring may also be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious sleeping disorder that can deprive you of much needed rest without your knowledge. Des Moines dentist, Dr. Stephen J. Burds, can help you determine if your snoring is symptomatic of sleep apnea and find the right treatment to help you get the rest you need.
What is Sleep Apnea?
As you sleep, the soft tissues in your throat and mouth relax and fall victim to gravity, obstructing your airway in the process. Snoring is the sound made when air squeezes past this tightly packed tissue. Sleep apnea describes a condition during which the tissues in your mouth and throat compress tightly enough to completely block your airway, causing you to stop breathing. Eventually, your body panics and wakes enough to restart the breathing process, until it relaxes again and the cycle is repeated. Apnic episodes typically last for at least ten seconds, and can occur hundreds of times a night. Though they rarely rouse a patient to consciousness, these cycles can keep your mind and body too alert to fall into REM sleep; the deep sleep that they need to rejuvenate.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment in Des Moines
Treating sleep apnea depends first on diagnosing it, which may require a sleep study involving an overnight stay in a facility. In most cases, your condition can be treated by wearing a specially designed night guard, similar to a sports mouthguard, which will help keep your lower jaw positioned forward slightly to prevent the collapse of your oral tissue. To learn more about snoring and sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with your Des Moines dentist by calling Gateway Dental Group at (515) 244-9565. Located in the 50309 area, we proudly welcome patients from Des Moines, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.