If You Snore, Your Health May be at Risk!

Snoring

Snoring is a common problem which deprives you AND your partner of a good night’s sleep. Snoring is more than just an annoyance, it can also be harmful to your health. Of the 90 million Americans who suffer from snoring, half of those may have sleep apnea. Scientific data suggests that people with sleep apnea are twice as likely to have heart disease and fatal heart attacks.

If you snore, you likely have a dry throat when you wake up in the morning. Do you have insomnia, frequent headaches, foggy thinking or drowsiness during the day, and/or shortness of breath when you wake up? If any of this sounds familiar, it would be wise to make an appointment with Dr. Terrance Wolbaum of Pioneer Hills Dental in Aurora, Colorado. He is a skilled general and family dentist, experienced in correcting this annoying, and possibly dangerous, health issue. Check out his website to find ways he can help to improve the quality of your sleep.

What Are the Health Risks Associated with Frequent Snoring?

Snoring is a symptom of other potentially serious health issues. You snore when there is a narrowing of the airways while you sleep. Often, it is because you are breathing through your mouth, or your nasal passages and throat are obstructed, reports WebMD.

The following are a few of the health risks related to snoring and sleep apnea:

  • Heart strain – Continued suffering from obstructive sleep apnea often results in higher blood pressure and may cause enlargement of the heart, with increased risks of heart attack and stroke.
  • Poor night’s sleep – This leads to drowsiness during the day and can interfere with your ability to work, drive or think clearly, which adversely affects your quality of life.
  • Low oxygen levels in the blood – Low oxygen can lead to constricted blood vessels in the lungs, which can lead to pulmonary hypertension.
  • Chronic headaches – People with chronic daily headaches are almost twice as likely to be chronic snorers. This might be due to grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, both symptoms Dr. Wolbaum is qualified to help you with.

Sleep Apnea and Snoring

It’s important to remember that snoring is a symptom of another issue. Snoring is likely related to sleep apnea; a disorder that causes you to stop breathing hundreds of times per night for a second or two, during sleep. Those constant interruptions to sleep are what causes drowsiness and the feeling of being foggy. This condition is dangerous because every time you stop breathing, there’s a possibility that your brain won’t tell you to start breathing again. Studies show that when you have sleep apnea you have three times the risk of death compared to those without sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious issue that should not be ignored!

Dr. Wolbaum Can Help You with Your Snoring Problem!

The majority of over 90 million Americans with sleep disorders are sleep apnea sufferers. If you fall into that category, contact Dr. Wolbaum at Pioneer Hills Dental for a free consultation to talk about snoring and your health! Experts agree that your dentist can set you on the path to overcoming your sleep disorders.

He will start by looking at the composition of your teeth, gums, throat, and jaw to identify the causes of your snoring. Common culprits are:

  • Tooth grinding (also called bruxism) is often one of the first signs of sleep apnea. Worn tooth surfaces are a sign that you grind your teeth while you sleep. Grinding can cause tooth wear and breakage as well as inflamed and receding gums. An increased number of cavities can also be a sign of grinding because the force damages teeth, making them susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Clenching your jaw. When you tense your jaw and grind your teeth, it sends a message to your brain to wake up so you can take a breath. Grinding is just one oral health sign of sleep apnea. A small jaw, tongue with scalloped edges, or redness in the throat (caused by snoring a lot, which is another symptom of sleep apnea) are also signs.

Depending on the cause and severity of your sleep apnea, Dr. Wolbaum will make a custom-made mouthpiece to help maintain an open airway while you sleep. These mouthpieces help your jaw stay in the proper position, stop your snoring and alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Oral Appliance Therapy 

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), “custom-made oral mouthpieces can improve sleep related breathing disorders (SRBD) and dentists are the only health care provider with the knowledge and expertise to provide oral appliance therapy (OAT).”

The dentist’s role in the treatment of SRBDs includes the following:

  • Dentists are encouraged to screen patients for SRBD as part of a comprehensive medical and dental history to recognize symptoms such as sleepiness, choking, snoring or witnessed apneas and an evaluation for risk factors such as obesity or hypertension.
  • OAT is an appropriate treatment for mild and moderate sleep apnea, and for severe sleep apnea when a CPAP is not tolerated by the patient.

Call to Get Help with Your Snoring and Sleep Apnea Symptoms

If you recognize yourself in this article, please contact us. Getting enough sleep is vital for everyone! The lack of proper sleep impedes your quality of life and could put you at risk of heart attack, stroke or even death.  

Located at 5492 South Parker Road in the Pioneer Hills Shopping Center in Aurora, Colorado, Pioneer Hills Dental proudly serves the communities of Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree. Call (303) 766-8811 to make an appointment with Dr. Wolbaum. He will attend to any dental needs you may have, and will also help you stop snoring. Best of all he will get you started on the path to better sleep and better overall health.