It is estimated that 40% of men and 24% of women snore habitually. While it can be a nuisance, it can be an indication of a much more serious sleep disorder.
Snoring is a common issue which affects many people as they sleep. Snoring is caused by the vibration of the tissues in the upper part of the breathing passages during sleep, creating loud, unpleasant sounds which can be bothersome to other people. There are dangers in snoring, as it may cause respiratory issues for the sleeper.
While snoring is a common occurrence for many people, in some cases snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea. This condition, which tends to affect individuals as they age and can be present in as many as 1 in 4 people over the age of 65, can be life threatening.
Why is Sleep Apnea Life-Threatening?
The reason sleep apnea can be life threatening is that it can cause patients to slow or halt their breathing altogether during sleep. This lack of oxygen can cause severe and permanent damage to the body and can result in a stroke, heart attack, or even result in death.
Sleep apnea can usually be identified by a listener as loud snoring followed by periods of extended silence. Usually, the sleeper is not breathing during this time, and when they resume their breath, it is generally with a loud snorting or choking sound.
For patients who struggle with snoring and sleep apnea, your trusted dentist in Anderson, SC may recommend a snore guard be worn while you sleep.
How Can a Snore Guard Prevent Snoring?
A snore guard is an oral device which is similar to the oral mouth guards often worn for sports. However, they differ from mouth guards in the sense that they prop the wearer’s jaw open during sleep, rather than providing protection for the teeth and gums.
By keeping the wearer’s mouth open during sleep, a snore guard ensures that the airways stay open during all stages of sleep. This prevents sleep apnea and, in many cases, can diminish the severity of snoring.
Do You Need a Snore Guard?
The best way to know if you need a snore guard is to check with your trusted dentist in Anderson, SC. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from sleep apnea:
- You often get severe, recurring headaches
- You stop breathing while you’re sleeping
- You are more than 20 pounds overweight
- You have a family history of high blood pressure, or have high blood pressure
- You feel extremely tired during the day
- You often wake up at night and feel as though you’re choking
- You have a family history of heart disease, or you have a history of heart problems
- You frequently experience issues such as soreness and dryness in your mouth