Do you snore most nights? Snoring is something you may not be aware of because it occurs while you are sleeping. Most people are made aware of their snoring by their spouse, partner, or roommate. If you live alone, your own snoring may wake you up frequently, alerting you to the fact.
The good news is that snoring can be treated by your dentist. A snore guard is an oral appliance you wear at night that prevents snoring. Are you a candidate for a snore guard? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Snoring?
When you lay down to sleep your tongue tends to slide back and your throat tissues relax to partially block your airway. As you breathe in and out, the air moves over the tissues causing vibrations, which makes the sound of snoring. The louder you snore, the greater the obstruction to your airway.
Does Snoring Mean You Have Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is often an indicator of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes completely blocked by your oral tissues, causing you to stop breathing for seconds or even minutes while you’re asleep. You won’t suffocate because the lack of oxygen causes your brain to send signals to wake you up so that you can change position and resume breathing. You may not be aware of the fact that you are being roused from sleep, but it still disrupts your natural sleep cycles, preventing you from reaching the deep level of sleep required for adequate rest.
If you snore, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea, but it does mean you are at a higher risk. Snoring is often the precursor to sleep apnea.
What is a Snore Guard?
A snore guard is a custom made oral appliance you wear at night, sometimes called a mouthpiece. It positions your jaw in a particular way that prevents your tongue and other tissues from sliding back to block your airway. A snore guard can stop your snoring and prevent sleep apnea by keeping your airway open when you sleep.
Is a Snore Guard Right For Me?
If you often feel tired, lack energy, and wake with a dry mouth or headache, you may have sleep apnea or severe snoring that interferes with your natural sleep cycles. Another related symptom is teeth grinding. A snore guard can correct all of these issues and help you (and your partner) get better quality sleep.
An alternative treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine. It stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure because it delivers a constant flow of air that keeps your airway open. You wear a mask over your mouth and nose that is connected to a machine next to your bed.
Some patients with certain types of sleep apnea will require a CPAP, but others are able to find relief with a snore guard. Many patients prefer a snore guard because it is comfortable, quiet, and compact for easy travel.
Where Can I Get a Snore Guard?
If you snore or experience other symptoms of sleep apnea, ask your dentist about a snore guard. Chang Dental Group provides custom snore guards for patients who find that snoring or sleep apnea interferes with their quality of life. Getting quality sleep improves your overall health and wellness, and helps to prevent a variety of serious health issues including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.