Is snoring a sign that I have sleep apnea?
Snoring loudly while sleeping is a common sign of sleep apnea. If you snore loudly it is a good idea to get screened for sleep apnea, a medical condition that can be life-threatening and should be addressed by a medical doctor. Sleep apnea and snoring could be the underlying symptoms of a few dental concerns that Dr. Heather Adams can diagnose and treat.
Dr. Heather Adams is passionate about helping her patients experience the life-changing benefits of functional breathing. Evaluation and treatment for sleep-disordered breathing and sleep apnea include:
- Soft and Hard tissue dental exam
- Airway evaluation
- In-Home sleep screening tests
- Oral appliance solutions
- Airway positive focused orthodontics
Dr. Adams has advanced training in the screening process to determine if further testing is needed to diagnose and/or treat a patient for sleep apnea or sleep disturbed breathing (snoring and/or sleep apnea). A student of the SPEAR institute for post-graduate studies in dentistry, Dr. Adams has taken continuing education courses on spotting the oral signs of sleep apnea. Patients are encouraged to talk about their lifestyle habits and sleep concerns with Dr. Adams to allow for early intervention and treatment.
Signs you may have sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Headaches, especially in the morning
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating and irritability
- Waking gasping for air
- High blood pressure
Sleep Apnea & Your Wellness
Sleep allows your mind and body to refresh and heal, sleep apnea can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep and may make it difficult to live a productive, fulfilling life.
Sleep apnea impacts your dental and systemic health. Patients who have sleep apnea are more prone to heart attacks, strokes, and depression.
Anyone could develop sleep apnea, even at a young age. However, the majority of patients with sleep apnea are often over the age of 40, have a large neck circumference, are overweight, and are predominately male. Women can also develop sleep apnea and should also be tested. Patients who are diabetic or suffering from certain types of heart disease may also be at greater risk for sleep apnea.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Dr. Heather Adams offers oral sleep appliance therapy, an alternative to the CPAP, for the discreet and effective treatment of sleep apnea. A custom oral sleep appliance is designed to keep the airway open during sleep allowing the patient to breathe freely. Wearing an oral sleep appliance can help patients get a full night of good sleep so they wake up feeling refreshed and better equipped to manage their daily responsibilities.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Are there risk factors for sleep apnea?
The risk factors for sleep apnea include obesity, having a large neck circumference, being male, having a family history of sleep apnea, being born with a narrow airway, consuming alcohol, and smoking. While many of these risk factors cannot be avoided, many can be. The best way to prevent sleep apnea from developing is to take good care of your overall health. You can do this by maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding tobacco as well as excessive alcohol consumption.
How will I know if my oral sleep appliance is working?
There are several ways you will be able to tell if your oral sleep device is working. The most obvious way is for your partner to notice you have stopped snoring and/or gasping while you are sleeping. If you sleep alone, you may notice you wake up feeling well rested. You may also notice that you are sleeping throughout the entire night and wake up without a headache or dry mouth. All of these are signs your device is working.
What are the side effects of using an oral sleep device?
The most common side effect of using an oral sleep appliance is waking up with a sore jaw. The appliance will push your lower jaw out which leads to minor discomfort for some. Most people report that the soreness wears off shortly after waking up. Having an increased production of saliva and bite changes have also been reported but are much less common. When compared to a CPAP machine, an oral sleep device has a higher compliance rate.
If you snore, or wake with headaches, be sure to contact Dr. Heather Adams to learn more about how sleep apnea therapy can help you.