Did you know that around 25% of the population snore regularly? Not only can frequent snoring disrupt your partner’s sleeping patterns, but it can also signify an underlying health condition.
Snoring occurs when the tissues at the back of your throat collapse on the soft palate, narrowing your air passage. This area closes and opens as you breathe, resulting in snoring.
You and your partner don’t have to suffer through snoring problems. This guide will discuss how your dentist in the Los Angeles, Newbury Park, and Brentwood areas can help you stop snoring.
Ways Dentists Help With Snoring
Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when you stop breathing in between snores. In addition to the unpleasant sounds, sleep apnea can result in fatigue throughout the day and less sleep at night.
Your dentist can help you identify the causes of snoring. Some common temporary reasons you might be snoring include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Back sleeping
- Drinking alcohol before you go to sleep
- Using sedatives to aid with sleep
- Excessive smoking
- Swollen adenoids or tonsils
- Seasonal allergies
If your snoring isn’t temporary and is disruptive to your sleep patterns, you might have sleep apnea. Your dentist will review your symptoms to diagnose the cause of your snoring.
Your dentist might want to conduct various tests to monitor your snoring and sleeping patterns. One test they might recommend is a polysomnogram.
During a polysomnogram, you’ll be required to spend the night at a sleep center or hospital. Spending the night allows doctors to monitor your blood flow and vitals as you sleep. A polysomnogram helps doctors and your dentist identify the cause of your snoring and potential lack of sleep.
One way to treat sleep apnea is with oral appliances. An oral appliance is recommended if your sleep apnea is caused by your tongue falling into the back of your throat and obstructing your airway.
The oral appliance works to realign your jaw. It also stops your tongue from moving around, preventing it from obstructing your airway. It also helps prevent your airway from narrowing while you’re asleep.
Oral appliances for sleep apnea are like orthodontic retainers and sports mouth guards. Your dentist can fit an oral device for your mouth.
You can purchase oral appliances at your local pharmacy. However, your dentist can custom fit an oral appliance for your mouth. Custom oral appliances are more effective than ones you buy over the counter.
Oral appliances are also an excellent option for those who don’t like using a CPAP machine. Some people say that CPAP machines make them feel claustrophobic or uneasy. There is an adjustment period with CPAP machines, but they’re not for everyone.
Am I a Good Candidate for an Oral Device?
Your dentist will determine if you’re a good candidate for an oral device during your initial consultations. They’ll start the process by making an impression of your teeth. The appliance will then get custom-made for your teeth, and your dentist will notify you once it’s ready.
You’ll also receive a morning repositioner with your oral appliance. The repositioner helps you realign your bite after taking out the appliance in the morning. Your dentist will give you instructions on inserting and cleaning the device.
You might have to go back to your dentist so they can make adjustments to your oral appliance. Once you’ve received the device, you might be required to go through another sleep test. The additional sleep test helps determine if the oral appliance is helping with your sleep apnea.
An oral device is a good option for those with mild cases of sleep apnea. Their sleep apnea symptoms can be controlled with an oral appliance instead of a CPAP machine.
A CPAP device fits over your mouth and is connected to a machine. The machine helps regulate your airflow and breathing while you sleep. You can choose from a variety of different types of masks.
The different types of CPAP masks include:
- Pillow Masks: seal around your nostril and great for those who want little contact with the mask
- Full Face Mask: for those who breathe with an open mouth while they sleep
- Nasal Masks: ideal for people who primarily breathe through their noses
CPAP machines are typically reserved for those who have severe sleep apnea and snoring cases. These devices are large but are more effective than oral appliances.
Am I a Candidate for a CPAP Machine?
As we mentioned earlier, you’ll need to get diagnosed with moderate or severe sleep apnea to qualify for a CPAP machine.
Some common signs of severe or obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Episodes of not breathing while sleeping
- Morning headaches
- Decreased libido
- High blood pressure
- Problems concentrating
- Awakening with sore throat or dry mouth
Your dentist in the Los Angeles area will determine if you’re a candidate for a CPAP machine or oral appliances to help with your sleep apnea.
When You Should See a Dentist About Your Snoring
Snoring problems might not seem like something you should bring up to your dentist, but it’s essential that you do. The cause of your snoring needs to get identified and treated.
You should make an appointment if you’re experiencing any of the above signs of sleep apnea. You’ll also want to seek medical attention if you’re choking or gasping while asleep or experiencing pain while attempting to sleep.
Make an Appointment With Newbury Dental Group for Your Snoring Problems
You don’t have to suffer from snoring problems that affect your sleep quality and daily life. The dentists at Newbury Dental Group can help decrease your snoring and improve your sleep apnea.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help patients in the Los Angeles, Newbury Park, and Brentwood areas.