Snoring is so common that everyone thinks it is normal. However, sleeping should be silent, and you should be able to breath effortlessly while asleep. If you or your loved one snores, it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Our experienced dentist offers oral appliance therapy to help minimize your snoring and help you rest better at night. We invite you to contact us today at (713) 667-8080 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Karisha Madden and learn more about snoring treatment in Bellaire, Texas.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is the result of an obstruction in your airway, usually caused by the back of the tongue or other soft tissues of the throat. When you breathe, the air passing over these soft tissues causes them to flap, and the resulting vibrations produce the sound that you recognize as snoring. If the obstruction in your airway is great enough, it will decrease the air flow to your lungs and reduce the amount of oxygen going to your brain.
Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a sleep disorder characterized by loud snoring and the cessation of breathing. People who suffer from sleep apnea may cease to breath while asleep for 10 seconds or more. The lack of oxygen and increase in carbon dioxide may cause you to partially awaken and force your airway open. This pattern is extremely harmful to your health, and may occur dozens of times per hour. Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Witnessed pauses in breathing
- Restless sleep
- Choking or gasping for air while asleep
- Sleep deprivation or feeling unrested after sleep
- Dry mouth
- Dry throat
- Early morning headaches
- Inability to concentrate
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
Sleep apnea not only prevents you from resting well, but also contributes to a number of other serious medical conditions, including:
- Heart Attack
Additionally, sleep apnea increases your risk of car accidents due to daytime drowsiness, and your risk of chronic fatigue.
If you believe that you or your loved one may have sleep apnea, please do not hesitate to contact our office and schedule a consultation with our dentist.
Testing for Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Dr. Karisha Madden uses the StatDDS Sleep Apnea and Bruxism Home Monitor and the NoxT3 Sleep Monitor to test for snoring, sleep apnea, and bruxism. These portable respiratory sleep monitors are designed to provide an accurate diagnosis in the comfort of your home, and allow our dentist to begin testing and treatment your snoring and sleep apnea immediately. For more information about these devices, please contact our office.
There are several treatment options to help you manage snoring and sleep apnea. At the practice of Madden Dental, we offer oral appliance therapy to help keep your airways open. Oral appliances, also known as mandibular advancement devices, are the alternative to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy. They are considered a “first-line” therapy for mild to moderate sleep apnea, and a “second-line” treatment for individuals with severe sleep apnea who cannot tolerate CPAP. In some cases, oral appliance therapy may be used in combination with CPAP.
While there are various oral appliances available over-the-counter, we strongly recommend that you visit our dentist for a custom oral appliance. An over-the-counter appliance may stop your snoring, but it is unlikely to treat your sleep apnea, and the low oxygen levels that lead to problems like heart disease and strokes will persist. A non-custom appliance also increases your risk of TMJ disorders, bruxism, and shifting teeth. A custom appliance provided by our dentist will be more comfortable and effective, and will not cause additional problems.
Dr. Karisha Madden will carefully evaluate your mouth. Depending on your examination results, dental health, size and shape of your mouth, and any signs of pre-existing problems (such as bruxism or TMJ disorders), he will determine which type of oral appliance will be most beneficial for you.
For more information about snoring and sleep apnea treatment, we welcome you to contact our office and schedule a consultation with our caring dentist. We are committed to helping you get the rest you need and improve both your oral and overall health. We look forward to meeting you soon!