In cartoons, snoring can be a comical way to signal that someone is in the middle of some deep sleep. In real life, snoring can be a signal of a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But how do you know when your snoring is just simple snoring or if it is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong? Aside from being an annoying burden on your partner or loved ones, snoring can be a signal of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can increase your risks of serious health complications like high blood pressure or heart disease. Your dentist can help you treat OSA, which can lower your risk of developing serious complications. Treatment can also help you and your family get the restful sleep you need. 

Is It Simple Snoring or OSA?

Simple snoring occurs when the soft tissue in your throat partially blocks your air passage. This blockage causes a vibration that creates a sound. Snoring can be caused by being overweight, sinus conditions, allergies, a common cold, or having excess soft tissue in your mouth or throat.  OSA is a condition where the airways are blocked by the soft tissues so much that you nearly suffocate. Your body wakes up to clear the blockage, breathe, and get oxygen. This waking up by your body is usually not enough to consciously wake your brain, but it can happen multiple times during your sleep.

Dangers of Sleep Apnea

While these bouts of suffocation during your sleep may not be enough for you to remember, it can be enough to prevent you from reaching a full sleep cycle with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This lack of restorative sleep can leave you drowsy and can lead to mood swings. Sleep deprivation may also cause changes in your hormones, which can lead to depression or obesity. When your body gets used to the deprivation of oxygen in your blood, it may increase your blood pressure. High blood pressure can increase your risks of heart disease and stroke.

Your dentist can help you treat obstructive sleep apnea

Is your snoring a symptom of sleep apnea? Schedule a consultation at Mansfield Dental Associates by calling 817-473-6227. Located in Mansfield, TX, we also welcome patients and families from all surrounding communities including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.