Tag Archives: sleep apnea

Is it Snoring or Sleep Apnea?

snoring or sleep apnea

Is It Snoring or Sleep Apnea?

About 80 million people in North America snore, and approximately 12 million Americans have sleep apnea. So what’s the difference, and why does it matter?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft palate and uvula, occurring when the airway becomes obstructed during sleep. Several things can obstruct the airway and cause you to snore, including allergies, drinking before bed, being overweight and having large tonsils or a deviated septum.
If you snore now and then, you probably have nothing to worry about. But chronic snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a more serious sleep disorder. People with sleep apnea stop breathing in their sleep – sometimes up to 100 hundred times an hour – for one minute or longer. Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your chances of serious health conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. At a minimum, you may feel groggy in the morning or unable to concentrate during the day.
The good news is sleep apnea is treatable. The two most common ways to treat sleep apnea are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is administered by a physician, and oral appliance therapy, which is administered by a dentist. CPAP therapy can be very effective for people with sleep apnea, but some find it difficult to sleep with a mask. More people are increasingly turning to the oral appliances administered by dentists. Oral appliances are small, flexible devices that look like mouthguards. They increase the airway space and reduce air velocity and soft tissue vibration (snoring) by moving the lower jaw into a forward position. Patients who have tried both say that oral appliances are more comfortable to wear, easier to care for and very cost-effective.

Snoring Creates Problems for Married Couples

MAD Device-Dr. David Glasscock-Cure Snoring

I am by no means a marriage counselor.  However, as a dentist, I encounter many desperate spouses suffering from sleep deprivation caused by a snoring spouse. When the non-snoring spouse realizes I might be able to provide a cure for snoring by using a MAD Device (similar to a mouth guard), they immediately want to sign their significant other up for the solution to the problem .

Snoring, unfortunately, can put a lot of unnecessary strain on a marriage. People who are affected by lack of sleep display symptoms of  poor mood, irritability, low energy, decreased libido, and poor judgment.   Without a far stretch of the imagination, these symptoms can create havoc on any relationship.  This is only the short list of sleep deprivation symptoms. There are many other areas lack of sleep can affect you physically.   With that being said, getting a good nights sleep is important for your overall health and well being.

Now let’s not forget the person doing the snoring.  Most people with a snoring issues weren’t even aware this problem existed until receiving the complaint from their bed partner.  For them, it feels out of their control as they can’t consciously control the issue. Ironically, it isn’t just the non-snoring spouse that is affected by poor sleep.  The snoring spouse is also suffering from sleep deprivation and chances are over a much longer period of time.  You need to understand that snoring is a condition of sleep apnea, sinusitis or nasal obstruction.  All are treatable.

Why do we Snore?

Typically, snoring is caused by the relaxing of the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth, making the airway passage smaller. The decrease in space through the airway makes it harder for each breath to get through, and when it does get through the airway passage, it moves over the soft tissues in the mouth and throat, causing a vibration that results in the snoring sound.  There are other causes but this is the most common.

How a MAD Device can Stop the Snoring?

It’s the simplest and most non-invasive cure to treat snoring.  MAD devices (similar to a mouth guard) help shift the position of the jaw and reduce the vibration of the tissue that causes snoring. Each MAD device is made specifically for the person wearing it to provide comfort and optimal benefit for the user.