Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are two of the most common sleep disorders affecting approximately half of the adult population today. In addition to keeping a patient from getting a good night’s sleep, snoring and/or sleep apnea can also present a serious health risk and have been associated with cardiovascular and systemic disease.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Diagnosing a sleep-related breathing disorder such as OSA typically involves the dentist as well as the patient’s physician and/or other specialists. Diagnostic imaging such as x-rays may be done to examine the airway and look for signs of blockage. A sleep study may be performed, either at home or at a specialist’s office, to evaluate the quality of sleep.
Treating Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Dr. Freano offers oral appliance therapy to address the complications of snoring and reduce the health risks associated with OSA. Left untreated, OSA can significantly increase the risk of stroke and heart attack and impact the severity of systemic disease such as diabetes. Patients with OSA repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night, reducing oxygen flow to internal organs and causing the patient to awaken with a loud snore as breathing is restored. Although many patients are unaware of their snoring, many experience similar daytime symptoms related to the disorder.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Daytime sleepiness and the tendency to fall asleep while reading, watching television or driving
- Loud snoring
- Gasping while sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Problems with concentration, mood and mental clarity
If you or a loved one snores, discuss this with Dr. Freano at your next visit to his Lexington dentist office. Treating a sleep disorder can restore overall health for both the patient and those affected by their snoring.