The Full Breath Solution
Snoring is a problem that effects 40% of adults by the age of 40. It is conservatively estimated that 45 million people in the United States snore every night. Snoring can cause disrupted sleep for both snorers and their sleeping partners and it can lead to health problems.
Snoring is the harsh sound of partially obstructed breathing during sleep and occurs when the back of the roof of the mouth vibrates against the the soft tissue structures of the upper airway in the back of the throat as air moves through them. During sleep, those tissues, the tongue and the muscles that line the airway all relax. When this occurs, the airway narrows. As air passes through the narrower airway, the tissues vibrate against each other and create the snoring sound that can grow louder during sleep. Large tonsils, a long soft palate, large tongue, large uvula, excess fat deposits, or a small retruded lower jaw all contribute to airway narrowing and snoring. Snoring may also be an indication of a more serious health problem-Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
While snoring can be a nuisance, it can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in which the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat and completely block the airway. The blockage can occur hundreds of times a night and typically lasts between 10-30 seconds or longer, resulting in abrupt breathing disruptions and reduced blood oxygen levels. The brain alerts the body to its lack of oxygen and blood chemistry changes, causing a brief arousal from sleep that resumes normal breathing. Most people with OSA snore loudly and frequently, with periods of silence when airflow is reduced or blocked. They then make choking, snorting, or gasping sounds when the airway re-opens. The result is a fragmented quality of sleep that often leads to excessive daytime sleepiness and increased risks of driving or work-related accidents. Untreated OSA will increase your risks of heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, acid reflux, diabetes, memory loss, impaired concentration, depression, obesity, decreased sex drive, etc.
As your dentist, Dr. Nguyen can recognize any airway anatomic abnormalities and has additional training in Dental Sleep Medicine to evaluate and treat you for sleep apnea. Dr. Nguyen is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
Please click the following links to fill out Sleep Apnea screening forms: OSA screening form
Please click here for more information about sleep apnea: Patient Newsletter