Snoring is a common cause of sleep disruption in couples—impacting health and quality of life for both partners and potentially leading to relationship problems.
What Causes Sleep-Disordered Breathing?
Snoring is caused by vibration of the soft tissues in the upper airway during sleep due to partial obstruction of airflow. It's estimated that 45% of men and 30% of women over age 30 snore at least occasionally.
Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, although not all snorers have sleep apnea.
Sleep Divorce? How Snoring Can Impact Your Relationship
A recent survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that couples who sleep apart due to one partner's snoring are less likely to be satisfied in the relationship.
Lack of sleep can cause irritability and an increased risk of depression in the non-snorer, while sleeping apart can be perceived as an implied rejection to the snorer. Loss of intimacy, combined with loss of sleep and general irritation, can quickly lead to resentment and relationship stress.
If you snore, it's in your best interests—for your relationship AND your health—to be evaluated for sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder that causes your breathing to pause or become shallow. These pauses vary in duration and may occur thirty times or more per hour. Normal breathing resumes after the pause, sometimes with a loud gasp or choking sound.
When breathing pauses frequently or becomes shallow, you experience poor sleep quality, which makes sleep apnea a cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when your throat muscles relax and block the airway, reducing or briefly stopping airflow.
Symptoms and Risks of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Symptoms of OSA include:
- Loud snoring.
- Pauses in breathing during sleep.
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking.
- Waking with a sore throat or dry mouth.
- Morning headache.
- Insomnia, or difficulty staying asleep.
- Hypersomnia, or excessive daytime sleepiness.
If left untreated, OSA may lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, mental health issues, and headaches. It also increases your risk for driving or work-related accidents.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Treatment methods depend on the severity of the condition and may include lifestyle changes, breathing devices, or oral appliances.
Lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes may include weight loss and avoiding alcohol and medications that relax the throat muscles.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). A CPAP machine delivers a constant stream of air that helps keep the airway open while you sleep, using a mask that fits over your nose and mouth.
Oral appliance therapy. Custom-fitted by a dentist and worn in the mouth to help keep the airway open during sleep, oral appliances can be effective in people with mild to moderate OSA or those who can’t tolerate CPAP therapy.
Oral Appliance Therapy is Effective for Many Patients
San Francisco Dental Wellness offers the leading edge ProSomnus Micro 2 oral appliance as a solution for snoring and sleep apnea.
The ProSomnus Micro 2 oral appliance:
- Was developed by internationally recognized experts in the field of dental sleep medicine.
- Treats insomnia by repositioning the jaw to its optimal position.
- Is shaped from clear, strong, non-bulky material.
- Is fabricated using one solid piece with no moving parts.
- Is simple to clean.
For many patients, oral appliances are the safest, simplest, and most effective way to treat OSA.
Why Choose San Francisco Dental Wellness to Treat Your Snoring or Sleep Apnea?
If you have OSA, it’s essential to take steps to control the condition, improve your sleep, and live a healthier and happier life. And since your partner will be able to get some shut-eye too, your relationship will benefit as well.
Certified by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine as a qualified dentist to treat sleep apnea, Dr. Chris Chui is uniquely equipped to help patients who suffer from this condition. By providing current patients with a complimentary, easy-to-use home sleep study test, Dr. Chui can monitor, diagnose, and treat OSA and other breathing disorders. Dr. Chui is the Clinical Director at the San Francisco VA Hospital for Dental Sleep Medicine for veterans with sleep apnea issues.