Snoring and Your Health—Fort Lauderdale Sleep Apnea Dentist Offers Insights
Snoring can cause sleep deprivation for both the person snoring and those who are sleeping along with them. But snoring is much more than an annoyance. There is now clinical evidence that most people who snore have a condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). If you find yourself waking up gasping for air or your spouse or partner complains about your snoring you may be at risk of this potentially fatal health condition.
There is a strong correlation between snoring and the increased risk of more serious health conditions like:
- Carotid artery atherosclerosis
- Brain damage
- Heart attack
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Oxygen deprivation is at the heart of the threat that OSA presents. OSA is caused when the soft tissue at the back of your throat relaxes and partially collapses cutting off the airway. The vibration of this relaxed tissue as you try to force air in and out of the airway is the sound you identify with snoring. Cutting off the airway interrupts the flow of oxygen to both the brain and heart.
How is it Treated?
Most cases are treated by creating space between the soft pallet and the tongue keeping the airway open and preventing snoring. The two most common therapies are:
- This system works by providing a steady stream of air under pressure while the patient sleeps. The airway is kept open through the force of the air. CPAC requires that the patient wear a mask connected to a hose connected to an electric pump. It is not well tolerated and most patients abandon it after 30 days.
- Dental appliances. These are customized devices that fit over your teeth and slightly adjust the position of the jaw. They allow for normal speech, sipping water and are extremely effective and well tolerated by patients.
If you believe you or a partner may have OSA we would encourage you to call our Weston office today and schedule an exam with Dr. Pyle.