Can Snoring Treatment Improve the Quality of My Sleep?
When habitual snoring becomes loud enough that it disturbs your sleep, or those sleeping near you, it may indicate a more serious condition. Dr. John F. Rink offers snoring treatment at his Charleston, SC, practice for patients concerned that their snoring may be affecting their sleep and overall health. To learn more about how treatment for your snoring can help improve your quality of life, contact our practice today.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring may occur for many reasons. One of the most serious causes is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or when your upper airway is partially or fully blocked during sleep. OSA is often the result of excess tissue, such as a large tongue or tonsils, blocking your airway.
Breathing may stop and start sporadically through the night as the excess tissue covers and uncovers the airway. The lack of sufficient oxygen can wake patients during their sleep, briefly. Once patients are able to breathe properly again, they fall back asleep, at which point the cycle restarts. This process can repeat 5 to 30 times every hour, all night. This condition can disrupt your sleep and leave you drowsy, dry-mouthed, and irritable throughout the day. In serious cases, it can threaten your life.
How Can I Tell if I Have OSA?
A major indicator that you may have OSA is excessive loud snoring while sleeping on your back. This is often very noticeable to those sleeping near you. There are other signs of OSA, including:
- Severe drowsiness during the day
- Inability to concentrate
- Waking up abruptly, and short of breath
- Dry mouth, sore throat, or chest pain upon waking up
- Morning headache
- Mood changes (depression or irritability)
- Insomnia (difficulty staying or falling asleep)
- High blood pressure
Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. But if you snore loudly or experience any of these signs, contact our team at Charleston Center for Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry immediately.
There are many treatment options for snoring and OSA. The most appropriate treatment depends on the severity of your condition, and treatments can range from behavioral therapy to facial surgery.
For milder cases, we may recommend lifestyle changes. Because more than half of people suffering from OSA are overweight, regular exercise and weight loss have proven to be successful. We may suggest that you place pillows at your back, to avoid rolling onto your back at night. We may also recommend that you quit smoking, moderate alcohol intake before bed, or use a nasal decongestant.
If these behavioral treatments are unsuccessful, mechanical therapy is sometimes recommended. Oral appliances worn at night can keep your airway open, by forcing the jaw slightly forward. Sometimes this is combined with prescription medication for increased effect.
Oral surgery is typically the last resort, when all other therapies have failed. A number of surgery options are available:
- Surgical removal of obstructive tissue, such as your sinuses or tonsils
- Jaw surgery
- Implants to support or stiffen tissue during sleep (suitable for milder cases)
- Surgical opening in neck (only in severe situations)
Dr. Rink will complete a full examination, and discuss your sleeping patterns with you, to determine which level of treatment will work best for your needs and goals.
Contact Us Today
Dr. Rink emphasizes a patient-centered approach and takes the time to understand your concerns. If sleep apnea is affecting the quality of your sleep and life, and you want to learn more about what snoring treatments are available, schedule an appointment today.