On its own, snoring isn’t necessarily a medical issue. Not all snorers have sleep disorders; however, many of those who have a potentially dangerous sleep disorder called sleep apnea exhibit snoring as one of their primary symptoms. You also experience brief periods where you hold your breath, depriving your body of oxygen. So, while your snoring now may not be problematic, there’s no assurance that it won’t lead to health problems later on.
Whether or not you have sleep apnea, the sound of snoring can impact the depth of your sleep, as well as the sleep of those close to you. Sleep is an essential element of your health.
Your brain needs downtime to switch from information gathering, its primary function when you’re awake, to information processing. As you sleep, new neural pathways form, and short-term memories convert to long-term ones. Sleep helps you retain learned information and process emotions. Feeling better after a good night’s sleep is a tangible effect, not simply a truism.
Your body uses the time in a similar way. Unlike your car, you can’t simply shut down your heart for repair work. The same is true for other organs in your body. Sleep is the routine maintenance part of your cycle, when the demands of wakefulness subside, and your body can focus its resources on repair work. Your immune system stays charged, and the various hormones in your body have a chance to stabilize.
Without solid, restful sleep you know you’re in for a tough day to follow. Worse still, the effects are cumulative. Missing an hour or two here and there may be no big deal, but chronic snoring can effectively disrupt the sleep cycle daily, and, after only a few days, you may experience uncontrolled microsleep, short periods during the day when you’re present but not really there.
If you have sleep apnea, your chance for health problems soars dramatically. Daytime fatigue is perhaps the earliest complication. In addition, the breathing interruptions that come with sleep apnea cause oxygen shortages in your body that drive up your blood pressure. Heart problems induced by low blood oxygen can threaten your life. Your risk of diabetes similarly rises, as you become more susceptible to insulin resistance.
You might not think of the dentist’s office as a place to address snoring issues, but the problem stems from soft tissue in the back of your throat and the way your jaw settles as it relaxes. Dr. Thomas Sokoly and the team at Sokoly Dental can fit you with a custom mouthpiece that opens your airway by preventing the backwards movement of your lower jaw. You’ll breathe more quietly and, crucially, more easily.
Contact Sokoly Dental today, by phone at 202-280-2428 or by using the appointment request tool on the upper right of this page, to learn more about how a custom oral appliance can help stop your snoring and give you back your life.