Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Ellicott City MD
Does excessive snoring keep you or your partner awake at night? If so, you may feel self-conscious and embarrassed — but your snoring is not all that unusual. Snoring is actually a very common problem that affects both genders and people of all ages. In fact, The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 37 million people snore on a regular basis. Snoring is often caused by a more serious underlying medical condition known as sleep apnea.
Snoring may not seem like that big of a deal, but it can be a burden to your partner or roommates. When people are kept awake by snoring, they often feel tired and irritable throughout the following day. If snoring is disrupting your sleep or the sleep of your housemates, you may want to consider your treatment options.
If you’re interested in eliminating your snoring, you may not necessarily have to deal with complicated devices or medical procedures. In many cases, our Ellicott City, MD dentist, Dr. Jennifer Sokolosky, can provide you with a customized appliance designed to reduce snoring and allow you to get a good night’s sleep. You don’t have to settle for restless nights or inconveniencing your loved ones any longer!
Read below to learn more about our treatments for snoring and sleep apnea in Ellicott City, MD:
- Why do I snore?
- How do I know if I snore?
- How can you help me stop snoring?
- How do I schedule my dental appointment?
Why do I snore?
Snoring is the result of mechanical processes in your body. Snoring can be anything from a mild inconvenience to an indicator of more serious breathing problems.
During sleep, your tongue and the muscles in your throat relax, and as you breathe your throat's walls start to vibrate. This leads to the characteristic sound of snoring. Your snoring can also fluctuate depending on your sleeping position and the elevation of your head. Often, simply switching to your other side or using a more supportive pillow can help alleviate snoring.
In more serious cases, snoring can be a warning sign of a condition commonly known as sleep apnea. In patients with sleep apnea, the walls of the throat collapse, which completely blocks the airway. This creates a cessation of breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, requires medical attention to treat. It’s important to note, however, that snoring is not always a symptom of OSA. If you suspect that you or your partner may suffer from sleep apnea, it is important to first consult your primary care doctor who can evaluate you and refer you to specialists if needed.
How do I know if I snore?
Since most snorers aren’t aware that they snore, they must often rely on the observations of their partners or other household members. In some cases, snorers wake up during the night choking and gasping for breath, but this happens more infrequently. Sometimes, snoring can come and go, and a person may snore occasionally depending on their sleeping position or how deep their sleep is on a particular night.
Unsure if you snore? You may be able to tell based on how you feel each morning and night. Some common symptoms of snoring are:
- Waking at night feeling confused
- Noticeable pauses in breathing during sleep
- Awakening in the morning feeling sleepy
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Waking up with a headache
- Noticing a change in your level of attention, concentration, or memory
You can also measure and track your snoring with the Snore Lab app.
How can you help me stop snoring?
Our dental office wants to help you stop snoring! If you are searching for snoring relief in Ellicott City, MD, we have a few suggestions for you. You can also schedule a dental appointment to meet with our Ellicott City dentist to further discuss your treatment options.
If others have told you that your snoring is disruptive or if you have any of the symptoms listed above, we recommend that you start by consulting your doctor. He or she will determine if you require a sleep test to see if you have OSA and how your snoring affects the quality of your sleep.
Some cases of sleep apnea are serious enough to require a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device. A CPAP device increases air pressure within your throat so that your airway is less likely to collapse and so you are more likely to sleep through the night without any problems. CPAP machines are a common method of treatment for sleep apnea in Ellicott City, MD, but they are not a good fit for every patient.
If you have sleep apnea and you choose to use a CPAP machine, you must wear a mask while you sleep. This mask is connected to the CPAP device through a hose that transfers air into your mouth. CPAP machines are very effective, but they can also be loud and disruptive during sleep. Many people complain that their partner’s CPAP machines keep them from sleeping through the night, which eventually often leads to partners sleeping in different rooms. There are many advantages to CPAP therapy, but it is important to understand the potential disadvantages as well so that you can make the most informed decision about your health. We want you to find a treatment for your snoring that is the very best for you personally.
If you choose not to use a CPAP device to reduce your snoring and sleep apnea symptoms, there is another option available to you. Our Ellicott City, MD dental office offers a simple oral appliance to our dental patients. This oral appliance is worn during sleep and is designed to relieve snoring by holding your jaw in a forward position while you sleep. This device helps keep the airway open, which can reduce your snoring.
Our oral appliances for snoring relief in Ellicott City, MD are custom made to fit your individual smile structure. If you are interested in receiving one of our oral appliances, Dr. Jennifer Sokolosky will start by taking an impression of your mouth. This impression is then used to create your beautiful, one-of-a-kind oral appliance.
If you would like to learn more about how our oral appliances can help reduce snoring and sleep apnea, you can call our dental team today at (410) 531-2690.
How do I schedule my dental appointment?
Scheduling your dental appointment to treat your snoring and sleep apnea symptoms is simple and easy! You can either call our Ellicott City dental office during our business hours Monday through Thursday, or you can use our convenient online contact form to request a dental appointment.
We urge you to take steps to find out why you snore and what can be done to treat it. Dr. Sokolosky will coordinate with your physician to ensure that we find the safest, most effective solution for your symptoms. If you're concerned about the cost of your treatment, we're pleased to tell you that our dental office is equipped to handle medical insurance billing for these devices.
You should not have to settle for another restless night. If you need to find relief from your sleep apnea and snoring in Ellicott City, MD, you have come to the right place. Please call us at (410) 531-2690 to begin your treatment plan today.