Snoring disrupts your sleep and your partner’s. Without a full night’s sleep, you may be irritable, have headaches, or feel overly tired. For some, snoring is due to the occasional passing cold. For others, snoring is a sign of an underlying medical issue such as sleep apnea. The cause of your snoring must be determined in order to sleep more peacefully. Houston dentist Dr. Marilyn Jones can help you stop snoring and feel rested.
When air cannot move freely through your nose and mouth, the surrounding tissues vibrate causing the rumbling sound of snoring. Colds, allergies, or environmental issues can cause occasional snoring due to nasal congestion. Occasional snoring is normal. Chronic snoring is not. Chronic snoring may be a sign of a more serious issue. Patients who have excess or loose nasal or throat tissue may snore due to the vibrating of the extra tissue. Other patients may have sleep apnea, a condition in which the patient stops breathing several times per hour.
Snoring versus sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects over 22 million Americans. Many are walking around tired, unaware that they even have this problem. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form. Patients with OSA have a blockage that forms in the upper airway when they are sleeping. This is usually due to soft tissue collapsing during sleep. When the airway is blocked, there are pauses in breathing.
Due to the pauses in breathing, sleep apnea patients do not get enough oxygen. The body must work harder to get air into the lungs. When the brain senses a pause in breathing, it panics and sends out a rush of adrenaline. This forces the patient to breathe again, often making snoring or snorting sound from the jumpstart. This cycle of pauses and breathing again can occur several times an hour. No wonder patients do not feel rested when their sleep is constantly disrupted.
If you suffer from snoring, the therapy recommended may depend upon the severity of your condition and whether or not you have sleep apnea. Effective snoring treatment helps you breathe better while sleeping. This improves your quality of sleep to help you feel more rested. A personalized treatment plan may include one or a combination of the following:
- Lifestyle changes
- Functional orthopedics using Daytime/Nighttime Appliances (DNA)
- Non-invasive laser treatments
Lasers have been used in the medical and dental fields for years and continue to grow in popularity. Procedures can be performed with less patient discomfort and recovery time. The concentrated beam of light is trained on the treatment site. Only the targeted area is treated. There is minimal blood loss and the treatments promote healing. Since the laser sterilizes as it treats, the risk of infection is reduced. Laser procedures such as NightLase combine state-of-the-art technology with safe treatments for a healthy, successful result.
At Houston Biological Dentist, Dr. Jones offers NightLase as one treatment option to help patients stop snoring. NightLase is a laser treatment that treats and tights the tissues of the oropharynx to reduce the vibrations of snoring. This non-invasive treatment helps improve the patient’s quality of sleep. Benefits of NightLase include the following:
- Safe – Only the targeted tissues of the mouth are treated. The dentist controls the laser and adjusts the settings to customize the treatment for each patient.
- Non-surgical – Lasers are precise yet gentle. The treatment is gentle on the delicate tissues of the mouth. NightLase is non-invasive and non-surgical. Healing times are much shorter than with more invasive surgical procedures.
- Effective – NightLase heats the tissues of the oropharynx. This tightens the excess or floppy nasal or throat tissue making it less prone to vibrations during sleep.
- Sleep soundly – Loud, chronic snoring is decreased so patients and their partners can rest peacefully.
Remember that snoring and sleep apnea are not the same thing. Patients with chronic snoring should be diagnosed by a medical professional. For patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Jones offers snoring treatments that can be used alone or in conjunction with a CPAP machine.
Stop snoring and get a better night’s sleep. To learn more about how your Houston dentist can help you stop snoring, contact Houston Biological Dentist to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marilyn Jones. Call (713) 497-1355.