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Snoring vs. Sleep Apnea

If you share a home or a bed with someone who snores, you know the impact it has on your rest and your relationship. Pillow over the head, elbow thrusts, and ear plugs bring only temporary relief from the relentless snoring and gasping. Dr. Angie Nauman and her team at Glisten Dental & Sleep Apnea Care in Tulsa are here to help you understand snoring and sleep apnea and discuss treatment options to restore your restful nights.

Many people snore and it has been learned that as many as 50 percent of our population snores. During sleep, when the airway is partially closed, soft tissues vibrate resulting in snoring. Snoring itself isn’t generally a health hazard, but it can be a symptom of a much more serious problem called obstructive sleep apnea or OSA of which one in five adults experience during regular sleep.

Snoring & Sleep Apnea Symptoms

During an episode of OSA, the tongue and soft tissues at the back of the mouth completely close off the airway as muscles relax into sleep. Breathing becomes very shallow or stops for up to 90 seconds, depriving the heart, lungs, and brain of oxygen. The brain sends frantic impulses to awaken the body and restart breathing. The sleeper chokes, jerks, and possibly gasps in an effort to breathe. The cycle repeats many times during the night, preventing deep restful sleep for everyone in the vicinity.

Undiagnosed and untreated, OSA greatly increases risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. Additional medical conditions that may occur as a result of OSA include decreased libido, headaches, chest pain during the night, daytime drowsiness (contributing to vehicle and workplace accidents), weight gain, emotional problems, memory loss, and difficulty with mental focus.

Sleep Apnea (OSA) Treatment

If you suspect that you or your sleep partner has OSA, it is important to seek treatment right away. Schedule a visit with your family doctor to confirm diagnosis with a simple sleep test. In the past, the usual treatment for OSA was a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device. The machine holds the airway open with a steady stream of air flowing through a mask over the nose and mouth. CPAP is very effective but unfortunately most patients can’t tolerate the noise, mask, or dryness, so they simply don’t use it.

Dr. Nauman brings a convenient solution to her patients – a customized oral appliance. It gently holds the lower jaw open and forward, keeping the airway from closing during sleep. Sleep dentistry is very effective in cases of mild to moderate OSA, and can improve the results of CPAP in severe situations. The appliance is small, well-tolerated, and convenient for travel.

Schedule a compassionate consultation with Glisten Dental & Sleep Apnea Care to learn how Dr. Angie Nauman can help with snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Call (918) 254-8686 today.

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