Snoring, Sleep Apnea & Your Overall Health: What’s the Connection?
Snoring is typically considered a nighttime nuisance that can grow to harm a relationship if the problem is not addressed. If you or your partner is spending most nights on the couch or in a different room due to snoring, it’s time to take a closer look at the issue and do something about it. The snoring may be indicative of a more serious underlying health condition called sleep apnea. At LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania in Williamsport, PA and Collegeville, PA, Dr. David DiGiallorenzo and his team offer a comprehensive array of treatments and services that are designed to help you achieve optimal health and comfort; one of these is sleep apnea therapy.
The Importance of Treating Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway is partially or completely blocked by the soft tissues of the mouth and throat. The tongue and soft palate prevent the proper flow of air into the lungs, causing the patient to cease breathing for a period of time (up to several minutes each time in severe cases). According to the National Institutes of Health, between 12 and 18 million people in America suffer from sleep apnea.
The sound that we recognizing as snoring is actually the vibration of the tissues in the mouth and throat as air is drawn in through the windpipe. When a patient stops breathing repeatedly throughout the night, the level of oxygen in the blood drops. Over time, this can result in damage to certain tissues and organs, making sleep apnea a highly underdiagnosed and dangerous disorder. Though excessive daytime sleepiness and a general feeling of fatigue are major symptoms, many patients simply don’t realize that they are suffering from a sleep disorder at all.
In order to effectively treat sleep apnea, the airway must be opened up sufficiently while the patient sleeps. This can be accomplished in a number of ways; one of the most successful and minimally invasive methods involves the use of a customized oral appliance, often called a mouthguard or nightguard. This comfortable, personalized appliance is worn only during sleep. It prevents the soft tissues from collapsing and positions the jaw in such a way as to allow free flow of air in and out of the lungs. Dr. DiGiallorenzo will fit you for your custom nightguard and provide you with information about additional lifestyle and diet changes may benefit you as well.
Schedule Your Consultation
Do you or your partner snore excessively? Is daytime sleepiness a major problem that decreases your ability to function as well as you’d like? Contact our office in Williamsport, PA and Collegeville, PA today to schedule a visit with Dr. DiGiallorenzo and our caring, experienced team. We look forward to helping you achieve the healthful, restful sleep you want and deserve with sleep apnea therapy. Our state-of-the-art dental practice also warmly welcomes patients from throughout nearby communities in Pottstown, Sunbury, Phoenixville, Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and more.