Do you snore? If so, you may be among as much as 50% of adults who do. But what’s the harm? You may think that the only problem with snoring is keeping your wife or husband awake. You would probably never think of mentioning your snoring to your dentist. However, snoring can be a symptom of a bigger problem: sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing condition. People who have sleep apnea often repeatedly stop breathing for short periods while they sleep. The most common cause is obstruction. When you sleep, your muscles relax, and the muscles of your throat can collapse against each other and obstruct breathing. Although sleep apnea itself may not be so serious, it can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Sleep apnea is a relatively common condition, but certain factors can make you more likely to develop sleep apnea:
- High blood pressure
- Snoring, particularly loud or sudden
- Dry mouth
- Trouble concentrating
Depending on how severe your sleep apnea is, Dr. Andrew Cobb can recommend a few courses of treatment for you.
The best-known treatment is use of a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and uses air pressure to keep your airway clear and breathing even. CPAP machines are definitely effective, but they can be cumbersome and are usually only necessary for more severe cases.
For mild to moderate sleep apnea, Dr. Cobb recommends an oral appliance. The custom appliance will fit like a sports mouthguard, and should keep your jaw in the proper position for easy breathing. This option is comfortable, convenient, and discrete, so it is the first choice for most lighter cases of sleep apnea.
Schedule a Consultation
Are you known for snoring? Do you wake up with a dry mouth and spend your day tired and grumpy? You may have sleep apnea. Contact Andrew C. Cobb, DDS online or at (202) 455-0901 and schedule an appointment to discuss whether you may benefit from sleep apnea treatment.