Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring can be a symptom of a serious medical condition that can be Life Threatening. Maybe you haven't seen a doctor yet for your annoying snoring problem, however, Dr. Jackson feels that it is vitally important to determine whether or not your snoring is a symptom of the slow killer, Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Remember, snoring is thunder (just noise) and sleep apnea is lightening (potentially very lethal).
We are all familiar with snoring. Snoring is the sound made when the tissues of the soft palate, tongue and throat partially block the airway and vibrate against the back of the throat during sleep. Snoring affects 40% of adults by age 40 and it is estimated that 45 million people snore every night affecting themselves and their bedpartners. Snoring can lead to more serious health problems for both the offender and his or her bed partner.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects more than 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, excessive daytime sleepiness and other destructive problems. OSA is a condition where the tissues of the throat and tongue completely block the airway causing brief periods of suffocation which can dangerously reduce the body's oxygen levels. The brain alerts the muscles of the airway to open the blocked airway which disrupts the quality of our much needed sleep and we wake up tired and unrested. The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep are:
- Loud Snoring
- Intermittent breathing stoppages during sleep
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
- Restless sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor memory
- Irritability or moodiness
Benign snoring is easily treated with an oral appliance without a physician's diagnosis. But, if you do have symptoms of sleep apnea, Dr. Jackson will ask that you see a Board Certified Sleep Specialist for a diagnosis, usually an ENT or pulmonologist, prior to evaluating you for a sleep apnea oral appliance. Remember, if you already have been diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea, your first line therapy, according to the top experts in the field of sleep medicine, is a dental sleep apnea appliance.
See our Sleep Apnea FAQs page for information you need to know! If you have any additional questions or need to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Michael Jackson, your local Lawton, Oklahoma dentist today.