Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Snoring may mean you’ll be sleeping on the couch more often than you’d like, but it’s not a problem in and of itself. If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, however, it’s a sign of a serious problem that could endanger your health and possibly even your life.
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects your breathing during sleep. The uvula—a small piece of soft tissue that hangs from the back of the throat—may block air passageways, momentarily obstructing your breathing and causing loud snoring. The condition affects mostly men, especially those over 65. Hypertension and obesity are both known risk factors for this condition.
Obstructive sleep apnea is dangerous because it can interrupt your breathing, often several times during the night. In the long term, it can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, lowered libido, and fatigue.
Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea
How can you tell whether you’re suffering from sleep apnea, or just run of the mill snoring? If your snoring is loud, and is punctuated by irregular quiet periods or cessation of breathing, you almost certainly have sleep apnea.
Other symptoms include waking with a dry or sore throat, sudden awakenings feeling short of breath, ongoing daytime drowsiness, insomnia, and morning headaches.
Treatment for sleep apnea and snoring
Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea or are wondering whether you might have this disorder, you probably know that there are physicians, therapists, psychologists, and all kinds of sleep disorder specialists who treat obstructive sleep apnea. Dentists are among the most qualified sleep apnea experts, offering treatment alternatives that don’t require surgery, drugs, or extensive sleep apparatus.
Instead, the dental approach to sleep apnea involves an oral mouthpiece that fits comfortably over your teeth and tongue to prevent the airways from collapsing during sleep. This simple oral appliance resolves the short- and long-term effects of sleep apnea, allowing you to get the rest you need without the health risks.
We offer a free initial consultation to determine whether this approach to sleep apnea and snoring treatment is right for you.
Why see a dentist for sleep apnea?
There are several reasons why dentists are uniquely qualified to provide advice and treatment for sleep apnea:
- Experienced dentists are very familiar with the structures of the nose, mouth, and throat, and can easily recognize the irregularities that are common in sleep apnea.
- Dental students receive advanced medical training on the anatomy of the nose and mouth, as well as on a variety of sleep disorders and sleep apnea therapies.
- Dental devices are a known and proven method of treating sleep apnea without drugs or invasive surgery.
If you’re seeking a diagnosis or second opinion about sleep apnea options and treatment, contact us to book a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns. Dr. Kleive is very experienced at diagnosing and treating sleep apnea and will be happy to answer any questions. Our practice serves Asheville, North Carolina.
Dr. Mark Kleive proudly extends his services and expertise in cosmetic dentistry to patients traveling from nearby cities. We have provided driving directions from the following cities for your convenience.