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Please Stop Snoring!

Nov 18, 2013
by Felicia Papier

Everybody snores.  Ok, not everyone… but 30-50% of the US population experiences snoring.  I am sure that someone, somewhere, at sometime told you that you were “sawing logs” all night long.  Whether you admit to it or not, it’s a part of life.  Own up to it and get help.  For your sake and whoever has to put up with your nightly lumber yard antics.  

Snoring is a symptom of a health issue called sleep apnea.  This is a serious condition in which breathing stops and starts during sleep.  There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central.  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the throat muscles relax.  Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain is not sending the proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing.  Unfortunately, sleep apnea is difficult to diagnose.

Did you know your dentist can help?  True story. 

There are several treatments recommended by dental professionals for sleep apnea.  The most common one is to use a dental or oral device which can help correct mild to moderate cases of OSA.  The mandibular advancement device is used by most orthodontists.  It resembles a sports mouth guard and is useful in pushing the lower jaw slightly down and forward in order to keep the airway open.  This leads to better breathing at night. 

Since your tongue can be a snoring culprit as well, a tongue-retaining device might also be recommended to help cure sleep apnea.  This device helps keep the airway open by splinting the tongue and holds it in the right position.  With this option, frequent dental appointments may be required in order to adjust or replace the device.

Studies have shown that these dental devices are more effective in improving airflow for sufferers who sleep on their stomachs or backs.  People using these devices have experienced better sleep patterns, reduced frequency of snoring and snore less loudly.  Which everyone can appreciate!

Another treatment performed by some orthodontists is rapid maxillary expansion.  This treatment involves temporarily applying a screw device into the upper teeth and tightening it on a regular basis.  It actually helps to reduce nasal pressure and improve breathing habits.

There are other solutions in addition to oral devices to help lessen snoring and help with sleep apnea.  According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, weight loss and oral appliances are two of the best soldiers to fight the nightly battle.  This chart from the ASAA represents solutions where the darkest lines are the most effective.

So whether you saw down a forest nightly or snore due to a winter cold, just remember, there is help out there.  Make an appointment with your dentist to talk about available options.  Don’t have a dentist? We can help you find a dentist who takes one of our great dental insurance plans

Now go get some “Zzzzzzz’s” snore free!

Sources: American Sleep Apnea Association, WebMD, DentistryIQ

Copyright 2013 Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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