Peninsula Family Dental Center | Soldotna, AK

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Sleeping Conditions

If you feel like you are always waking up exhausted, there might be a medical reason. Sleeping conditions such as snoring, and sleep apnea can get in the way of a good night’s sleep by limiting your oxygen intake as you sleep. So, if you feel like you just can’t seem to get enough sleep, you might need better quality of sleep as opposed to more time sleeping.

What Causes Snoring?

If you snore when you sleep, you are in the same boat as about two thirds of all Americans. The sound of snoring is caused by your tongue and tissues around your sinuses. When air can’t move freely through your mouth and sinuses, it causes these tissues to vibrate as air tires to pass through. The vibration is what creates that rumbling sound that can vary from fairly quiet to loud.
At its least concerning, snoring can be annoying and interfere with your partner’s sleep. On more concerning notes, snoring is a sign that air is not moving freely which could mean that air flow to the lungs is being restricted. Snoring is also linked to sleep apnea, a more serious condition.

Should I Be Worried About Sleep Apnea?

The reason sleep apnea is so concerning is because it restricts the amount of oxygen you get when you are asleep. If you believe sleep apnea is a cause for concern to your health, our dentist can perform an exam.
There are different forms of sleep apnea, the most common being OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. This is characterized by the back of your throat being obstructed, or blocked, causing you to stop breathing. This causes you to wake up so that you can breathe.
The first step in the procedure is prep. A barrier gel will be applied so that your gums and lips are not affected by the treatment. After the barrier gel is applied, the teeth whitening gel is next. The gel is activated using a UV light allowing for rapid results. These steps are repeated multiple times every 15 minutes until desired results are achieved and you walk out with a brighter smile!

Health Concerns Related to Sleep Apnea

The sleep disruption that results from sleep apnea can be even more serious. Some studies have shown that it can shorten your lifespan by up to 12 years. The following health conditions can result due to different forms of sleep apnea:

• Abnormal Facial Growth in Children.
• Acid reflux.
• Alzheimer’s.
• Anxiety.
• Depression.
• Difficulty Controlling Diabetes.
• Headaches and Migraines.
• Heart Attack.
• High Blood Pressure.
• Impotence or Loss of Libido.
• Irritability and Aggressive Behavior.
• Loss of Focus and Memory.
• Stroke.
• Tooth Grinding at Night or Bruxism.
• Unusual Daytime Fatigue.
• Weight Gain.

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Why Visit a Dentist for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea begins in the mouth and sinuses. Our dentist is an expert and our team can help you find a treatment that is best for you, so you can get back your restful sleep.

An example of some of the treatments we use:

1. Aligners – Aligning your teeth isn’t just for cosmetic reasons. It changes the position of your entire mouth. This includes the jaw and tongue. Changing the position of your jaw and where your tongue rests in your mouth can open up your airway, and prevent blockage.


2. Nasal Breathing Exercises and Decongestants – One of the best ways to treat sleep apnea is by ensuring you get enough oxygen through your nose as opposed to your mouth. Nasal breathing can increase oxygen intake by up to 12%


3. Oral Obstructive Sleep Apnea Device – This treatment involves a custom dental support that is similar to a mouth guard. Its purpose is to hold your jaw in a position that allows your airways to stay open.

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