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Galleria Dental Aesthetics in McLean VA

A Breath of Fresh Air is Good for Sleep

Sleep Apnea McLean, VA

Sleep is as natural as breathing. It is not something that we expect to struggle with – at least not very often. Interestingly enough, there are millions of people for whom the very act of breathing stands in the way of restful sleep. Let’s look at this problem we call snoring a little more closely. Snoring is a sound that we make when air moving through the nose or throat meets an obstruction. Snoring is not the problem; it’s the symptom. Usually, the obstruction in the airway is temporary, like slight inflammation when we have a cold or allergies. Sometimes, though, snoring is a nightly happening that disrupts everyone in the house. This is when attention needs to be given to a potential cause.

What is Snoring?

Snoring is a sound that we make when air moving through the nose or throat meets an obstruction. Snoring is not the problem; it’s the symptom. Usually, the obstruction in the airway is temporary, like slight inflammation when we have a cold or allergies. Sometimes, though, snoring is a nightly happening that disrupts everyone in the house. This is when attention needs to be given to a potential cause.

When snoring is chronic and loud, the underlying cause could be a larger-scale obstruction. When the body falls asleep, all of its muscles and tissues relax. The lax muscles around the throat could block the airway. An airway blockage is more than snoring; it is obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that is quite common, and yet not often discussed.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Just the Beginning

The primary concern with chronic snoring is the loss of sleep that occurs night after night. Obstructive sleep apnea is more serious than snoring, though; it is a total cessation of breathing several times a night. No breath means no oxygen for the brain. When the brain realizes oxygen is dropping, it releases adrenaline through the body to rouse sleep. This persistent process can have a severe impact on health and wellness.

If appropriate treatment is not obtained, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to:

  • Automobile or other accidents.
  • Poor work or school performance.
  • Relationship difficulties.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Heart palpitations and cardiac events, including heart attack.
  • Diabetes

Where to Turn for Help

The first person to speak with if you or a loved one experience the symptoms of sleep apnea is your physician. An accurate diagnosis is necessary to determine the type of sleep apnea that exists if any. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type, and it can be easily managed. In fact, you can find unobtrusive, effective treatment for this sleep disorder with your dentist.

Schedule a Consultation

The team at Galleria Dental Aesthetics would be happy to speak with you about oral appliance therapy. To schedule a visit to our McLean office, call 703-448-1020.

Posted in: sleep apnea

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