Could sleep apnea be the cause of my snoring?
In many cases, sleep apnea is suspected in patients who snore.
Sleep apnea is a more serious disorder than simple snoring, characterized by noises and interruptions in breathing that repeat at least five times in a 60-minute period.
These repeated episodes of interruption can last from a few seconds to minutes and occur due to complete airway obstruction or a lack of respiratory effort. Sleep apnea can lead to more serious health problems, such as excessive daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.
💤 Why do I snore?
Snoring occurs when the airflow is partially blocked due to narrowing of the airways, which can be caused by various factors such as relaxation of throat muscles, excess tissue in the airways, or physical obstructions like polyps or enlarged adenoids.
Some more common factors that make a person prone to snoring: tiredness, stress, a cold, overweight, deviated nasal septum, changes in the anatomy of the mouth, consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Usually, a person snores when the muscles of their “roof of the mouth,” tongue, and throat relax and close the airway. This makes the airflow stronger, causing vibrations in these tissues, producing the noise (snoring).
But when the snoring is loud, persistent, and happens every night, it may indicate sleep apnea.
⚠️ Sleep Apnea Symptoms: what are the main ones while I’m sleeping?
Here are some of the symptoms and signs of sleep apnea that can occur while you are sleeping:
- Loud Snoring: People with sleep apnea often snore loudly and persistently.
- Pauses in Breathing: Others may notice that you stop breathing for a few seconds or even minutes during sleep.
- Choking or Suffocation: There may be episodes of choking or suffocation when resuming breathing after a pause.
- Mouth Breathing: Some individuals may breathe through their mouth during sleep, which may be related to obstructions in the respiratory tract.
- Restless Movement: People with sleep apnea may move frequently in bed, trying to find a position that facilitates breathing.
- Night Sweating: Due to the effort to breathe, some people may sweat excessively during the night.
- Irregular Snoring: Snoring may have an irregular pattern, alternating between periods of silence and episodes of loud snoring.
- Insomnia: People with sleep apnea may have difficulty maintaining deep and continuous sleep due to interruptions in breathing. They may wake up frequently during the night and have difficulty returning to sleep. This can be confused with insomnia, which is difficulty in falling asleep or maintaining sleep.
- Frequent Need to Urinate: Sleep apnea can increase urine production at night. Breathing interruptions can lead to changes in thoracic pressure and hormonal levels, which in turn can stimulate urine production. As a result, individuals with sleep apnea may wake up several times during the night needing to urinate.
Are there also symptoms of sleep apnea while the patient is awake?
Yes, there are some warning signs:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness;
- Sensation of unrefreshing sleep;
- Increased irritability;
- Lack of attention, decreased memory and concentration;
- Sexual problems such as impotence;
- Morning headache
As soon as you detect or someone else detects these types of symptoms in you, you should go to your doctor for an appropriate diagnosis.
🧑🏻⚕️ Is there treatment for sleep apnea?
The treatment for sleep apnea varies according to the cause and severity, and may include simple measures such as weight loss and speech therapy exercises in mild cases, up to the use of devices for sleep apnea, breathing masks and, in extreme situations, surgery.
With the advancement of medicine, more and more alternatives for treating sleep apnea are emerging. We introduce you to an innovative treatment:
⚡ Laser Treatment for Sleep Apnea: Fotona NightLase®
NightLase is a non-invasive laser treatment for Snoring painless for the patient.
It reduces the effects of sleep apnea and decreases the amplitude of snoring through a gentle tightening effect induced by the laser, caused by the contraction of collagen in the oral mucosa tissue.
The Fotona Nightlase treatment protocol optimizes the duration of laser pulses, allowing safe heat penetration into the oral mucosa tissue. This technique does not require the use of any device during sleep and does not involve any chemical treatment.
Patients who have used Nightlase have found a comfortable, simple, and effective way to recover lost sleep nights.
At our Atelier do Sorriso clinic, in Almancil, in the center of the Algarve, we use Fotona Nightlase with all our experience. We know it is a non-invasive laser technique that will significantly improve your quality of life by reducing the effects of sleep apnea.
Learn more about Fotona NightLase:
In addition to treatments focused on health issues, such as combating sleep apnea, we also offer various laser treatments aimed at aesthetics. These options include procedures for facial rejuvenation, scar reduction, removal of skin spots and much more.
🏥 How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
There are several tests that a professional can perform, such as polysomnography, or a sleep study. In this examination, the patient’s sleep patterns are analyzed with monitoring of vital signs throughout sleep.
Eye and leg movements are observed, as well as brain waves, blood oxygenation, heart rate, and respiratory activity. Through the analysis of the polysomnography and the entire history of the patient’s symptoms, the doctor can diagnose and prescribe the ideal treatment for the specific case.
A professional diagnosis is always mandatory
It is important to mention that each case is unique and every patient is different from the others.
For the treatment to be effective, snoring must be properly evaluated by a professional. If Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is present, the patient should seek immediate treatment as it can lead to more serious problems.
Snoring is often linked to oral causes and it is necessary to understand each patient’s case. From situations of mild snoring, easily resolved, to more serious conditions like sleep apnea, your dentist’s opinion should always be sought.
Consult your trusted dentist and explain your problem.
With the right treatment, you will be able to breathe normally again and completely eliminate snoring.
⁉️ Frequently asked questions about stopping snoring:
Can a dentist help me stop snoring?
Communicating your snoring problem to your dentist is an important step to take.
Oral health professionals may request some radiographic exams to test the size of the patient’s air passage. If snoring is diagnosed as derived from oral problems, the dentist can direct treatment for your case. The intraoral device is the most frequent therapy in these situations.
Do I have to use a dental device for snoring?
One of the most common treatments for stopping snoring is the intraoral device. Customized for each patient, the intraoral device helps the person keep their mouth closed, adjusting the position of the jaw and tongue during sleep.
Can snoring be derived from some oral problem?
Generally, when there is snoring, it means that the patient’s nighttime breathing is through the mouth and not the nose as would be normal.
Thus, the tongue is positioned lower and the upper arch becomes narrower. This leads to a crossbite and consequently crooked teeth.
If this type of breathing is not corrected, it can also cause gum problems, possible inflammation, and dental issues.
Schedule a consultation to treat sleep apnea at our clinic in the Algarve:
Use the form below or call (+351) 915 550 999 ℹ️ to book your consultation.
📍 Atelier do Sorriso Almancil, Faro, Algarve