Do you wake yourself or your partner with loud, disruptive snoring? It could be caused by sleep apnea, a condition that temporarily blocks your breathing while you sleep. Sam Latif, DMD, offers diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea at Ohio Cosmetic Dentists, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. If you’re concerned about your snoring and sleep apnea, call or make an appointment online today.
Sleep apnea, often called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a condition where your breathing is temporarily stopped or blocked while you sleep. These interruptions to your breathing are usually caused by your soft palate relaxing and descending to cover the airways in your throat. Your breathing can stop for just a few seconds or up to a minute.
Sleep apnea is dangerous for many reasons. Not only does it disrupt your sleep, which has a multitude of negative effects on your health, but it also deprives your brain of oxygen. Sleep apnea increases your risk for:
Your genetics and nasal structures play a role in sleep apnea, and a number of other factors contribute to your risk of developing the condition, including:
Your age and weight also contribute to your risk. Sleep apnea is more common in people over the age of 40, and excess weight can make it more likely for your soft palate or tonsils to relax into your airways and reduce the amount of space available in your trachea.
Snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea. It’s important to note that while people with sleep apnea tend to snore, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Other signs of sleep apnea include:
Dr. Latif offers a variety of treatments for sleep apnea, depending on your lifestyle and the severity of your condition. Initially, Dr. Latif often suggests lifestyle and behavior modifications to help you lose weight and get more exercise. If you sleep on your back, he often suggests sleeping on your side.
If these changes don’t reduce your symptoms, Dr. Latif suggests oral appliances to hold your jaw in a slightly forward position while you sleep. This helps to prevent your soft tissues from descending into your airways.
Some patients benefit from the use of a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) device. This is a small mask that you wear over your nose that pushes a continuous stream of air into your body while you sleep.