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For some, snoring is nothing more than an occasional, inconvenient habit. For others, chronic, heavy snoring can be a sign of more serious health concerns. Occasional snoring can disturb others and cause a dry mouth or sore throat. Chronic, heavy snoring is often a symptom of sleep apnea, which can be associated with stroke, hypertension and other heart and breathing problems.
WHAT is SLEEP APNEA?
The Greek word ‘apnoia’ (apnea) literally means ‘without breath’. There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. Despite the root cause, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, often for a minute or longer.
What are the signs of Sleep Apnea?
- choking or interrupted breathing during sleep
- excessive daytime sleepiness
- morning headaches
- jerking limb movements during sleep
- awakening tired and thirsty
Severe sleep apnea can result in serious health complications, including high blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbances, and even heart failure. People with undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea are more likely to be involved in automobile accidents while driving, due to lack of sleep.
What can a Denturist do?
A Denturist can provide a non-invasive, non-surgical oral appliance that is specially designed to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. These oral appliances are small and easy to wear. They weigh only a few grams, making them convenient for travel.
In addition, they are relatively inexpensive when compared to other alternatives, such as surgery and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). Some medical insurance companies cover the cost of these appliances.
*Educational material reprinted with permission from The Denturist Association of Ontario (DAO). Copyright © 2014 The Denturist Association of Ontario. All rights reserved.*