Snoring has long been portrayed in movies, TV shows, and comedy acts as hilarious, and often the noise serves as the punch line to a joke. If you or a loved one snores often, however, then you may not find the situation very humorous. Snoring can interrupt your sleep, leading to grumpiness, grogginess, and other symptoms associated with sleep deprivation. In some cases, snoring can indicate a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Those who suffer from OSA are often unaware that they are being deprived of much-needed deep sleep. Partners of OSA sufferers, however, know well that something is wrong due to the thunderous snoring that marks the condition. As a dentist in Syosset, Dr. Richard Kobak can treat your sleep apnea and help you achieve the rest you need.
How Does Sleep Apnea Deprive You of Sleep?
You may wonder how sleep deprivation is possible without your knowledge. After all, shouldn’t you know if you’re awake? Actually, sleep apnea disrupts the deep sleep, or REM sleep, that your mind and body need to rejuvenate. The condition occurs when the soft tissues in your mouth and throat relax too much during sleep. Snoring is the sound of air attempting to squeeze past these tightly compressed tissues, and the noise grows in intensity until the compression becomes too tight to allow air through. During an episode, sleep apnea sufferers cease to breathe for about ten seconds at a time, until the brain wakes the body enough to restart the breathing process. This cycle can repeat up to hundreds of times a night, making deep sleep impossible.
Treating Sleep Apnea
In many cases, sleep apnea can be treated using a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machine. While CPAP therapy is the most common treatment method for sleep apnea, the equipment can be cumbersome, and some patients do not handle the machinery well. If a sleep study reveals that your sleep apnea is in the mild to moderate range, then Dr. Kobak may offer a sleep guard as an alternative sleep apnea treatment. Similar to a mouthguard worn during sports, a sleep guard is worn during sleep and prevents breathing cessation by holding the lower jaw slightly forward. If you believe you or your partner may have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kobak by calling our Syosset dental office at (516) 433-2211. We welcome patients from Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk, and the surrounding New York City neighborhoods.