Sleep Apnea — When Is Snoring a Health Concern?

Sleep apnea — when is snoring a health concern? Introduction

Snoring is a standard issue that affects people from all walks of life. Men are more likely to snore, and the same holds true for people who are overweight. Snoring typically worsens as the patient ages.

While snoring occasionally is not a severe health issue, doing it regularly is. Besides preventing anyone who shares the room with the patient from getting a good night's rest, it also affects the quality of sleep the person receives. People who snore regularly need to seek the services of a doctor or a dentist.

Sleep apnea — when is snoring a health concern? What causes snoring?

A person snores when the airflow through the nose and mouth is physically being obstructed. The air attempts to get past the obstruction that leads to the sounds associated with snoring. Common reasons why a person's airways might become obstructed include:

1. Congested nasal airways

Sinus infections and allergies can cause some people to snore. It can also be caused by facial structure deformities like a deviated nasal polyps or septum.

2. Weak throat and tongue muscles

When the muscles of a person's tongue and throat muscles become too relaxed, they can collapse into the airway, restricting the movement of air. Aging can cause this, drinking or using sleeping pills.

3. Excess throat tissue

People who are overweight are more likely to have throat tissue. People with enlarged adenoids or tonsils are also more likely to snore.

4. Extended uvula or soft palate

When the person has a uvula or soft palate that is longer than usual, it can narrow the person's airways.

Sleep apnea — when is snoring a health concern? Health risks of snoring

Regularly snoring is often a sign of a serious health issue like sleep apnea. This dental disease can lead to a range of issues like:

  • Interruptions in the person's breathing patterns during sleep due to the obstruction of the airways
  • Waking up often during sleep. Patients do not always realize they are doing this
  • Not feeling rested in the morning due to the constant interruptions to the person's sleep. It leads to less deep, restorative sleep
  • Increases the risk of heath attacks and strokes due to the strain put on the person's heart. It also leads to higher blood pressure
  • Feeling drowsy throughout the day due to not getting enough deep sleep. This can affect the person's personal and professional life

Treatment options for sleep apnea

There is a wide range of treatments that can be used to address sleep apnea. It typically comes down to each unique case. Common treatments include:

  • Airway pressure machines
  • Mouthguards
  • Airway stimulation
  • Losing weight
  • Nasal decongestants
  • Surgical removal of soft tissues blocking the airways

We are always here to help! 

Exhibit any of the symptoms of sleep apnea listed above? Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists and explore your options. We are ready to help guide you in making the best decisions for your health and snoring problems. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with John M. Chaves, DDS, request an appointment in our Woodland Hills dental office here: https://www.woodlandhillsdentist.org. Or call us at (818) 473-1134.

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