If you or your partner snore loudly, heavily, and frequently, the situation could be much more serious than you might think. To find out for sure if your snoring is a cause for concern, call the team at Nashua Family Dentistry at 603-546-7460 to book an evaluation to determine if you are in need of a sleep apnea treatment.
At our Nashua, NH dentist office, we offer a few services that you might not expect from a dentist. That’s just part of our commitment to providing as comprehensive care as we possibly can for our patients. We want to be your one-stop shop for dental care and any other treatments a dentist can provide.
For your convenience, we also open a little early at 8:00 a.m every weekday and accept a variety of payment options so you cover the bill for your dental treatments in the way that makes the most sense for you.
Learn How Serious Sleep Apnea Can Actually Be
One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is chronic snoring. But that doesn’t mean that you have a sleeping disorder if you experience snoring, even on a regular basis.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that is characterized by involuntary pauses in normal breathing while you are asleep. There are two basic types:
- Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common of the two, occurs when the airway becomes closed because tissue in your neck muscles or the back of your throat relaxes to the point that it blocks your breathing
- Central sleep apnea, the more serious of the two, does not occur because of a physical block to your airway but because your brain does not send the signals it needs to get your body to breathe normally
As you can probably imagine, pauses in breathing while you sleep are not healthy. In some cases of severe apnea-disordered breathing, patients can stop breathing hundreds of times a night. When you think about the fact that you spend roughly a third of your life snoozing, that can add up to a very significant lack of oxygen in your body.
Because sleeping disorders that affect your breathing drastically affect your oxygen levels, they can lead to or increase your chances of many severe health problems, including:
- Circulatory problems like high blood pressure
- Worsening of ADHD symptoms
- Heart attacks, heart failure, and irregular heartbeats
Now, we realize that can be a pretty intimidating list of health issues. We don’t want to scare you, but we do want you to realize how serious sleeping disorders can be so you won’t put off getting the help you need. Along with chronic snoring, here are a few other potential symptoms that you should look out for if you’re worried you have a sleeping disorder:
- Having a very sore or dry throat first thing in the morning without showing any other symptoms of illness
- Waking suddenly in the night feeling as though you are choking or gasping for air
- Restless sleep
- Forgetfulness and/or inability to maintain focus during the day
- Migraine-like headaches in the morning
- Difficulty staying awake while driving
- Lack of energy during the day
If you or your loved one has shown any of the symptoms above, you should visit Nashua Family Dentistry for a sleep apnea evaluation. We will provide a take-home sleep testing kit that will monitor your breathing cycles as you snooze. When you bring the device back to our office, we’ll have a pretty clear idea of what your breathing is like while you sleep.
If we determine that you are dealing with a sleeping disorder, we can provide two different treatment options for you. Some patients even combine them depending on their case.
One is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. You’ll wear a small mask over your face that will pump in enough oxygen while you sleep that it will keep your airway clear.
The other, our preferred method of treatment (partially because many patients find CPAPs uncomfortable) is called an oral appliance. This is basically a small mouthpiece that looks a lot like an athletic mouthguard. It works by slightly shifting your jaw so that your airway will remain open. To ensure it works well and is comfortable when used, we will custom-make your appliance.
Regardless of which you use, you should get relief from apnea-related troubles soon!