Snoring is a common occurrence that affects many people. For some, it’s nothing more than a mild annoyance. However, for others, snoring is a sign of a more serious condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, and it can have severe health consequences if left untreated. That’s why it’s essential to understand the link between snoring and sleep apnea and seek treatment from an Aberdeen, NC sleep apnea dentist.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring occurs when air cannot flow freely through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose during sleep. This is typically due to a narrowing of the airways, which can be caused by several factors. The most common causes of snoring include:
- Age: As we age, the muscles in our throat become weaker, leading to a narrowing of the airway.
- Gender: Men are more likely to snore than women due to the natural differences in their airways.
- Obesity: Excess weight can put pressure on the airway, causing it to narrow and leading to snoring.
- Alcohol and sedatives: These substances can relax the muscles in the throat, leading to snoring.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. There are two main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, causing a blockage. OSA is often associated with snoring.
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This occurs when the brain fails to send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing. CSA is less common than OSA and is not typically associated with snoring.
Link Between Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Snoring and sleep apnea are closely related, and in fact, snoring is often a symptom of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. This happens when the muscles in the throat relax, causing the airway to narrow or close, which leads to a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood. The brain then senses the decrease in oxygen and prompts the person to wake up briefly in order to reopen the airway and resume breathing. These brief awakenings can occur many times throughout the night, and the person may not even be aware of them.
Snoring occurs when the airway becomes partially blocked during sleep, causing the soft tissues in the throat to vibrate. While not all snorers have sleep apnea, most people with sleep apnea snore.
It’s important to note that not all snoring is caused by sleep apnea, and not all people with sleep apnea snore. However, if someone is a loud snorer and experiences other symptoms of sleep apnea, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and waking up gasping or choking, they should consult a healthcare professional for evaluation and possible treatment.
Treatment for Snoring Caused By Sleep Apnea
The treatment for snoring caused by sleep apnea involves addressing the underlying sleep apnea itself. Here are some possible treatment options:
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy: This is the most common and effective treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP involves wearing a mask over the nose or mouth during sleep, which delivers a constant stream of air pressure to keep the airway open. While this is the gold standard, some cannot tolerate the CPAP mask at night
- Oral appliances: These are custom-made devices that are worn in the mouth during sleep to help keep the airway open. They work by repositioning the jaw or tongue to prevent the airway from collapsing.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be recommended to treat sleep apnea. This may involve removing excess tissue from the throat or correcting abnormalities in the jaw or upper airway.
- Lifestyle changes: Certain lifestyle changes can also help alleviate sleep apnea and snoring symptoms. This may include losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, quitting smoking, and sleeping on your side instead of your back.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for sleep apnea and snoring.
Finding The Best Sleep Apnea Treatment in Aberdeen, NC
To find the best sleep apnea dentist in Aberdeen, NC, you can follow these steps:
- Ask for recommendations: Ask your primary care physician, dentist, or other healthcare professionals if they can recommend a sleep apnea dentist in Aberdeen, NC.
- Check online directories: You can search online directories such as the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine’s (AADSM) directory or the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine’s (ABDSM) directory to find sleep apnea dentists in Aberdeen, NC.
- Read reviews: Once you have a list of potential dentists, read online reviews from other patients to see what their experiences were like.
- Schedule a consultation: After narrowing down your list, schedule a consultation with each sleep apnea dentist to discuss your symptoms and treatment options. This will also give you an opportunity to assess the dentist’s knowledge and expertise in treating sleep apnea.
- Consider insurance coverage: Check with your insurance provider to see if they cover treatment for sleep apnea, and if so, which dentists are in-network.
Overall, it’s important to find a sleep apnea dentist who is experienced in treating sleep apnea and who you feel comfortable working with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do your research before making a decision.
Why Choose Dr. Mandy Grimshaw?
Here are several qualities that make a great sleep apnea dentist like Dr. Grimshaw:
- Expertise in sleep apnea: Dr. Grimshaw has specialized training and experience in treating sleep apnea, including diagnosing the condition and providing effective treatments.
- Communication skills: Our sleep dentist is able to explain the diagnosis and treatment options in a clear and understandable manner, as well as address any questions or concerns the patient may have.
- State-of-the-art equipment: A good sleep apnea dentist should have access to the latest technology and equipment for diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, which can help ensure more accurate and effective treatment.
- Personalized treatment approach: A good sleep apnea dentist should take a personalized approach to treatment, taking into account the patient’s unique needs and preferences.
To schedule an appointment call (910) 692-4450 today to meet with Aberdeen, NC dentist Dr. Mandy Grimshaw at Kuhn Dental Associates.