Do you or a loved one have a tendency to rattle the rafters while snoring? If so, that nightly annoyance may be more than just an annoyance. It can actually be a sign of a potentially serious health problem. Dr. Greg Kerbel of Gregory Allen Kerbel, DDS, PLLC in East Dallas, TX may have the solution.
Snoring is usually caused by the soft palate in the back of the mouth or other tissues sagging so that they partially or fully block the airway. That sagging may be due to excess weight, loss of muscle tone while sleeping, or other factors. Generally, snoring impacts other people’s sleep more than the snorer.
But when the snoring is caused by sleep apnea, things can get serious for the snorer. Sleep apnea isn’t just snoring; it’s also accompanied by stopping breathing altogether for short periods of time while sleeping; awakening many times per night (although the person may not recall being awake); periods of increasingly shorter breaths; and awakening completely unrefreshed no matter how long you sleep.
That lack of restorative sleep carries a heavy price. Sleep apnea is potentially life-threatening condition that can result in
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Chronic headaches
- Heart disease
- Daytime sleepiness
While most of these conditions may not have any outward signs – high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, for instance – if left untreated they may threaten a person’s wellbeing, ability to function, and life. Drowsy driving, or even falling asleep while driving or operating machinery, is a threat to self and others.
There’s More Than One Kind of Sleep Apnea
The most common form of apnea is obstructive apnea which was described above. Central sleep apnea has a different cause which requires different treatment.
Dr. Greg Kerbel has found that some 70 percent of patients with obstructive sleep apnea can be helped by an oral appliance that holds the airway open. But don’t waste your money on an anti-snoring device that you find online. For best results, the appliance needs to be customized specifically for you.
Sleep apnea needs to be confirmed by a sleep study before treatment begins. Call our East Dallas, TX office at 972-360-9944. We’ll help you set up a sleep study. Depending on the results, a sleep specialist can provide you with a prescription for an oral appliance. We offer two completely customized options:
Silent Nite is an oral appliance that shifts your bottom jaw forwards while you sleep. That change in jaw position helps keep your airway open.
Dream Tap works in the same way, but it also has a dial system that allows you to adjust the appliance for best results.
Is Your Snoring Normal?
Don’t take excessive snoring, daytime sleepiness, or other signs of sleep apnea lightly. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Greg Kerbel by calling our East Texas dental office at 972-360-9944 today. You and your loved ones will all rest easier, and the life you save may be your own.