While snoring is so common that most people think it’s normal, it is actually often an indicator of more serious conditions. Chronic snoring suggests that there is something blocking your airway, making breathing difficult. Research suggests that up to 70% of chronic snorers have sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the most common and treatable causes of snoring. OSA occurs when the muscles of the mouth, jaw, and throat relax so much during sleep that they cave in, blocking the airway. The subsequent decrease in oxygen typically results in waking many times throughout the night, keeping you from ever establishing a natural sleep rhythm. Suffering from sleep apnea results in less time in deep, restorative sleep, as well as a significant increase risk of:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Stroke & heart attack
- Type 2 diabetes
- Headaches & migraines
- Digestive issues, including heartburn & acid reflux
Dental sleep medicine is the discipline that focuses on treating sleep-related breathing problems through specially designed oral appliances. As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Brad Sievert of Westlake Family Dentistry has had years of experience helping patients of all ages find relief through dental sleep medicine.
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