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Does Your Spouse Get a “Snoring” Earful Every Night?

Save Your Marriage! See a Dentist!

By Michael G. Katsaros, DMD

You might be surprised to hear that a nagging spouse is often the reason most patients seek help with snoring. They’re tired of being “poked” by an irritated sleeping partner. And they’re tired of being “tired” all day long.

It’s not sexy. But, snoring is common. In fact, one in three adults snores, disrupting the sleep—and tempers—of loved ones. What a relief to our patients—and their spouses—when they learn that our newest, virtually invisible, oral device reduces snoring and health risks. Our latest digitally milled technology makes it easier than ever to eliminate this problem!

During a “Snoring Consultation” appointment in our office, patients always express concern about “What causes my snoring? What causes my sleep apnea?” These topics are all over the news, along with talk about problems brought about by snoring and apnea. That might be why patients are not surprised to hear that their tendency to “drag” through the day is a common snoring-related experience, along with acid reflux, morning headaches, morning dry mouth. They already feel the effects of lower mental and physical energy.

What is snoring? What is sleep apnea?

Snoring happens when tissues at the back of the throat relax during sleep, and the airway narrows and vibrates. Men snore more than women. Snoring increases with age and increasing weight. Drinking alcohol before bed, smoking or overeating—all make snoring worse.

While relief from snoring delivers more restful sleep—for patients and their partners—for some people, loud snoring signals a more serious problem. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition that blocks the airway and momentarily interferes with normal breathing. Fortunately, the brain realizes more oxygen is needed and wakes us up to breathe! Affecting one in four men and one in ten women, sleep apnea can cause hundreds of episodes in one night. Sufferers likely do not remember them. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and an irregular heartbeat.

Treatment Gets Simpler—With a Simple Dental Device.

In the past, the gold standard for treatment was the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) machine that pumps air through a facial mask to keep the airway open. The CPAP gets high marks for preventing apnea, but low marks from users who say it’s hard to tolerate while they sleep. In fact, studies show that apnea sufferers continue to live with obstructive airway risk, with CPAP compliance often below 50 percent. The reason: The machine is uncomfortable and hard to take while traveling.

Special training in dental sleep medicine has allowed me to help hundreds of patients eliminate problems and risks of snoring and sleep apnea, especially now, with one of the smallest devices ever made. Resembling a sports mouth guard, this game-changer is an amazing, no metal, all-clear, airway-opening appliance with a retainer-like fit. And every device is “digitally milled” to provide the most precise, customized fit for the individual patient. That’s why the technology results in far better compliance than with CPAP systems.

“I hardly realize it’s in my mouth,” state my patients with moderate sleep apnea and snoring. They love the benefits—and the minimal size. It’s comfortable and practical. It is hidden inside the mouth and allows the lips to close and the mouth to open normally. It works by opening the airway. It moves the jaw forward and keeps it there during sleep.

If you have concerns about snoring or sleep apnea, take the time to visit a dental practice that provides customized treatment for snoring issues. Every patient is unique, and you would greatly benefit from an assessment that evaluates your specific needs.

If you’ve ever wondered if you have sleep apnea, the simple questionnaire below can help:

  • Do you snore?
  • Is your snoring interrupted by pauses or choking?
  • Has anyone ever said that you stop breathing or pause in your breathing during sleep?
  • Do you feel fatigued, exhausted or tired?
  • Do you have high blood pressure or diabetes?
  • Do you wake up at night or in the morning with headaches?
  • Have you ever nodded or fallen asleep while driving?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with sleep apnea?
  • Do you have problems keeping your legs still at night or need to move them to feel comfortable?
  • Do you usually get less than six hours of sleep each night?
  • Do you feel your sleep is not refreshing or restful?
  • Do you have periods of the day when it is hard to pay attention, to remember things, or to stay awake?

If you answered “yes” to some or most of these questions, feel free to call a dental office that specializes in treatment for snoring or sleep apnea. Don’t wait to benefit from simple treatment that takes care of a serious problem.

Dr. Michael G. Katsaros, practices general and cosmetic dentistry at Washington Center for Dentistry, 1430 K Street NW, Washington, DC.www.washdent.com  202-888-3254 [email protected]