Published: 03/21/2016

Over 90 million Americans experience some level of snoring activity during sleep. For many of these people, snoring is harmless and is at worst an inconvenience for sleeping partners. For others, however, snoring may be a sign of a serious sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when the tongue falls to the back of the mouth and the throat walls relax during sleep. The characteristic snoring sound is caused by air passing between the throat walls and causing them to vibrate. In people with obstructive sleep apnea, this relaxation of the breathing passages occurs in such a way that it disrupts air intake and causes breathing to cease repeatedly during sleep. Besides causing people to wake up constantly during the night, this disorder can also lead to other severe health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and decreased alertness during waking hours.

How can you tell if you have sleep apnea and not just a case of regular snoring? In addition to snoring, there are several possible indicators of sleep apnea.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

Four telltale signs of obstructive sleep apnea are:

Frequent, loud snoring
Gasping or choking during sleep
Extreme restlessness during sleep
Excessive sleepiness during waking hours

If you or your partner exhibit any combination of these symptoms, it may be wise to talk to a sleep apnea dentist. Specialized devices are available that can be worn during sleep to help alleviate the problem. These devices adjust and maintain the airway so air can pass freely, reducing snoring and preventing the breathing pauses caused by obstructive sleep apnea.

Contact Us Today

If you suspect that you or a family member has obstructive sleep apnea in Tampa, FL, give us a call at 813-968-4808 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Douglas Genninger, our exceptional dentist, is here to answer your questions and provide the sleep apnea treatment you need.

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