Do you snore? Has your bed partner ever pushed you awake because you make such a racket? It might be time you talked to our sleep apnea dentist! Snoring is a nuisance and can disrupt both your and your bed partner’s sleep – but it could also be a sign of sleep apnea.
Why Snoring Is Actually a Big Deal
Snoring may be common, but that doesn’t make it normal or ok. Snoring is a warning that something is not right and occurs when the tissues of the throat are so lax or narrowed that air cannot pass through normally. This decreases the aMt. of air to the lungs, the heart has to work harder, and quality sleep is interrupted. And if that interference with healthy living isn’t enough, check this out: Snoring is also the primary symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep-related breathing disorder that prevents airflow during sleep.
Your sleep apnea dentist will show you how breathing issues occur when the tongue and surrounding tissues collapse to the back of the throat, blocking the airway. This can cause a person to stop breathing for long periods of time, sometimes hundreds of times a night. And when your brain realizes your body isn’t getting enough oxygen, it causes you to startle awake, usually with a loud gasp, to reopen the airway.
That means that not only do you stop breathing hundreds of times a night, you are also waking up over and over and over. The double whammy of sleep and oxygen deprivation is a dangerous one and has been linked to a vast array of health and safety issues, not least of which is drowsy driving. According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. Each year, drowsy drivers cause at least 100,000 accidents; many of these are fatal.