Snoring is a phenomenon that affects anywhere from 30 percent of women to more than 40 percent of men in Houston and other cities. Often labeled a bad or annoying habit, snoring can be a sign of a more serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can lead to serious neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular problems including depression, physical lethargy during the day, congestive heart failure, and even stroke.
Fortunately, Houston has the best medical resources in the world, so there are many options available to the sleep apnea patient. Call our office and schedule an appointment if you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this article. One good thing about being dentists is we have access to all sorts of dental devices you can wear that will keep your airways open and stop snoring once and for all.
Snoring is caused by the when the back of the roof of the mouth and the uvula vibrate together. When a person sleeps, throat muscles that normally keep tonsils, soft palate, the tongue, and the uvula separate relax too much. This allows the uvula and the soft palate to vibrate together, creating noise. In sleep apnea patients, it can also result in cessation of breath or choking.
The dentists on staff here in our Houston office can help people find out if they have sleep apnea. Persistent snoring should not be ignored. If it is indeed symptomatic a sleep-breathing disorder, then there is a strong likelihood that the airway is being blocked and oxygen flow to the brain has been diminished. Snoring is also believed now to be linked to the development of high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, and possibly even some strokes.
Both the frequency and pattern of snoring can be indicators of the severity of sleep apnea. Frequent. One of the more dangerous sleep apnea effects is the complete cessation of breathing during sleep. This is a sign of moderate to severe sleep apnea. In this instance, the patient will experience a pattern of very loud snoring that lasts for 10 seconds or longer. Then, suddenly, he or she will stop breathing completely. This is when many of our Houston patients first discover something wrong. They wake up in the middle of the night, with empty lungs, gasping for air.
Such loud snoring for time periods where the patient does not receive air for 10 seconds or more are symptoms of a form of sleep apnea called obstructive sleep apnea. Its symptoms include two significant, but treatable medical problems:
1) Neuropsychiatric problemssleep deprived patients are often so tired during the day they feel emotionally depressed, physically drained, experience anxiety or personality changes, and may have difficulty with cognitive function.
2) Cardiovascular problemsconditions such as hypertension, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and even cerebral vascular disease that can lead to strokes stroke.
These symptoms are often overlooked and falsely attributed to gender, age or genetics. This is a dangerous self-diagnosis to make considering how many complications can arise when sleep apnea is not treated. This is why we urge you it is necessary to speak with your dentist about treatment options if you or a loved one snores or has any other breathing difficulties while asleep.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont Midland and Houston, Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services.
For any other questions related to cosmetic dentistry, you can Contact Us at 713.795.5905, visit our Dental Blog or Ask the Dentist