Have you given up on finding a comfortable solution to stop your snoring or sleep apnea? Dr. Angela Bauer of the Dental Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Madison, WI, discusses snoring and explains how you can benefit from an oral appliance.
Why do I snore?
You're never more relaxed than when you're sleeping. As you drift into a deep sleep, the walls of your throat relax and narrow. Your tongue may also fall backwards, blocking your airway. If your airway is blocked or narrows substantially, your throat and your tongue vibrate with every breath you take. Those vibrations produce the loud sounds we associate with snoring. Snoring can also occur due to nasal congestion and may be more likely to happen if you've had an alcoholic beverage or sleep on your back.
In some cases, snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when you stop breathing due to an airway blockage. If you have sleep apnea, you may stop breathing hundreds of times during the night for several seconds each time. In addition to making you feel fatigued, sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes.
How can an oral appliance help me?
Keeping your airway open is the key to preventing both snoring and sleep apnea. If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend that you use a continuous positive airway (CPAP) machine, a device that forces a steady stream of air into your throat. Unfortunately, not everyone can adjust to using a CPAP machine.
An oral appliance worn over your teeth like a nightguard provides another solution. The appliance repositions your jaw and prevents your tongue from falling into your airway while sleep. Your oral appliance is fitted in our Madison dental office, but may covered by medical insurance if recommended by your physician. Oral appliances offer a comfortable alternative to CPAP machines, don't produce any annoying sounds and don't take up much room in your luggage when you travel.
Would you like to find out if an oral appliance can improve your sleep apnea symptoms or prevent snoring? Call Madison, WI, dentist Dr. Bauer at (608) 423-3615 to schedule an appointment.