Is your snoring keeping your bed partner awake at night and leaving you fatigued throughout the day? Snoring can be caused by a number of factors, such as sinus problems. But it can also indicate a much more serious – and even dangerous – problem. Your Edgewood, KY dentists have snoring solutions and sleep apnea that can improve your health and reduce your risk for serious health conditions.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
About 18 million people in the United States suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. This condition can lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, decreased libido, depression, and extreme daytime fatigue. It is caused by your throat muscles relaxing while you sleep, a large tongue or tonsils, or too much tissue around your neck. Any of these can cause your air passage to become blocked, resulting in problems breathing while you sleep. Some people suffering from sleep apnea stop breathing hundreds of times in just one night.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
To see whether your snoring may be more than just an annoying nighttime habit, our Edgewood, KY dentists give you the following list of symptoms of sleep apnea:
- loud, disruptive snoring
- gasping for air several times during sleep
- choking during sleep
- pausing your breathing while asleep
- tiredness, drowsiness, or fatigue throughout the day, no matter how much sleep you get
- trouble concentrating
- falling asleep while reading, watching TV, working, or even driving
Those who are more at risks include males, people older than 40, and overweight adults.
How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
You may be surprised to find out that Dr. McMahon can help diagnose and treat sleep apnea right here in our Edgewood, KY dentists office!
First, Dr. McMahon will gather information about your medical history, your sleep habits, and your daytime alert or sleepiness levels. He will also do an examination of your mouth and take X-rays to see if there is a physical reason you may have sleep apnea, such as large tonsils. He will also use these results to rule out regular snoring.
After gathering and reviewing this information, Dr. McMahon will order a sleep test if he suspects you may have sleep apnea. While many doctors require you to go to an overnight lab for your sleep apnea test, we offer Sleep Optima at-home sleep tests that can monitor your sleep in the comfort of your home. This can give us more accurate results about your sleep behaviors because you can sleep better in a more familiar environment.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
If your results indicate sleep apnea, we can offer you one of many solutions. Some people also find relief with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, limiting alcohol intake especially before bed, or quitting smoking. Others find that making adjustments to sleeping habits, such as changing the position that they sleep in, can improve their breathing.
One of the most conservative sleep apnea treatment and snoring solutions is a sleep apnea devices or custom snoring mouthguard. You can read more about these oral mouthpieces on our Mouthguards page.
Another method we use to treat more severe sleep apnea is with CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure. During your sleep, you will use a small mask that delivers air pressure through a machine. This is a very reliable treatment to improve breathing, but it can be uncomfortable. If we recommend this to you, we will show you the most comfortable way to use the mask and can help make adjustments if necessary.
If your consultation with Dr. McMahon reveals that your snoring is not sleep apnea, this does not mean that it’s less disturbing than sleep apnea. It can still cause daytime fatigue and wake your bed partner. To help control snoring so you can wake up refreshed, we can also fit you for a custom nightguard that stops the snoring. We may also discuss how to eliminate the actual problems behind your snoring. For example, if you have sinus issues, you may be able to get snoring relief through allergy medication or a nose spray. If you are overweight, you may find that losing weight cuts back or eliminates your snoring.
Many dentists in Kentucky do not have the required training to diagnose and treat sleep disorders. Edgewood Dental Care is committed to providing all of your dental needs under one roof, including sleep apnea and snoring solutions. You don’t have to go to another doctor; we do it all in one location! Contact our Edgewood, KY dentists today for a snoring consultation at 859-474-7830 or through our online form. Your health – and your spouse or bed partner – will thank you!