When your Sleep Patterns Should be a Topic of Discussion
- Posted on: Nov 15 2017
Sleep is not something that most people would think about bringing up at dental appointments. These visits are for dental issues, not other matters of living. However, there is a connection between the two – dentistry and sleep – that may be relevant to a person’s quality of life.
The issue that your dentist may be interested in is snoring. People who snore often believe that they “just snore.” This could be because snoring is often perceived as its solitary problem. What needs to be understood is that people don’t snore for no reason. There is always a reason. That reason could be a deviated septum, which is a structural issue that may require surgery for correction. Snoring could also occur when allergies flare up, or when we have caught a cold. These are temporary bouts of disrupted sleep, though. When snoring occurs nightly, we must look for another possible reason.
Snoring & Sleep Apnea
The person who snores nightly is in need of assistance, period. This is especially true when snoring is accompanied by a few significant characteristics. These include:
- Momentary lapses in snoring.
- Gasping or choking sounds.
- Morning headaches.
- Frequent wake-ups at night to use the bathroom.
- Frequent sore throat, especially upon waking.
- Behavioral symptoms such as moodiness and chronic irritation.
- Chronic fatigue.
These characteristics indicate that snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea. More than a temporary and partial closure of the airway, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the airway closes completely. This is why snoring is interrupted by silence. When breathing is interrupted, adrenaline production occurs in the brain. This is why there may be gasping or choking sounds. Chronic fatigue and behavioral issues resulting from poor quality sleep. None of these consequences are benign. In fact, they could ultimately be very serious.
At DeStefano Dentistry in Pittsford, Dr. DeStefano can treat obstructive sleep apnea with a subtle oral appliance. This method of care may be a suitable alternative to CPAP medical therapy for many patients. To learn more about obstructive sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy, call 585-248-2383.
Posted in: Sleep Apnea